Helmed by the Victorian government, Australia, the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne is coming back in 2019. Honouring the festival with his presence as the chief guest of the annual celebration of Indian films, will be the Indian actor and superstar, Shah Rukh Khan.
The festival in its 10 years has grown pillar to pillar and has gone from being a grassroots festival to a government supported one, and an awardee of several global accolades, making it the biggest Indian Film Festival in the southern hemisphere. This year the festival is set to celebrate the central theme of 'courage,' which is engraved in the inclusivity and diversity of the Indian film business.
King Khan as he’s admirably referred to globally, will be opening the festival officially in August, along with the other festival guests and in the company of the ‘Premiere of Victoria’ and Mitu Bhowmick Lange, the director of the esteemed festival.
Speaking on being appointed as the chief guest for the festival, Shah Rukh Khan, said, “I’m honoured and delighted to accept the invitation from the Victorian government and the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne to open their festival as their chief guest. An industry of our magnitude and diversity deserves to be celebrated with great passion and fervour, which is what the festival embodies. I’m particularly pleased with the theme of the festival this year which is courage, an emotion that resonates with storytellers who really have the might to change the society and the world. I have had great memories of shooting for Chak De India in Melbourne and look forward to being back again, this time to celebrate Indian cinema”.
Announcing the news, the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said, "The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne is a much-loved event that celebrates the strong relationship between Victoria and India and our own vibrant Indian community. This event has grown significantly over the past decade and with the extraordinary Shah Rukh Khan here, this year's festival is shaping up to be the biggest and most exciting yet."
Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, said, "A celebration of film, community and culture, the Indian Film Festival puts Melbourne in the spotlight and attracts more than 35,000 people each year. The Bollywood and Indian film industry is the biggest in the world and in addition to supporting this festival, we've announced a new Bollywood and Indian Cinema Attraction Fund to bring more film productions from India and the subcontinent to Victoria. Perhaps we'll even lure Shah back to our shores again!"
Concluding the thoughts, director of the festival, Mitu Bhowmick Lange, said, “We are so elated with the news of Mr. Khan joining us to be our chief guest. He’s truly an icon of Indian cinema internationally, a person millions and millions follow and look upto. The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne has always strived to bring the best Indian cinema here in Melbourne and bridge a gap between the fans and the actors whom people love and admire. We are looking forward to hosting Mr. Khan in Melbourne.”