(This article was written by Alar)
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) is back with its 14th edition. The festival has announced the nominations for its prestigious awards, which will be decided by a jury panel including Oscar-winning Australian filmmaker Bruce Beresford.
Among the nominees, two Tamil films were marked by their epic scale and stellar cast: Mani Ratnam’s historical drama ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ and Vikram’s action thriller ‘Gargi’. The awards ceremony will be held on the opening day at the Australian city’s iconic Hammer Hall.
Based on the classic novel by Kalki Krishnamurthy, ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ is a two-part epic that chronicles the rise of the Chola dynasty in medieval India. The film has an ensemble cast including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vikram, Karthi, Jayam Ravi, Trisha, Aishwarya Lakshmi, Prabhu, Sarath Kumar and many more. The film was nominated at the IFFM for Best Film, Best Director (Maniratnam), Best Actor (Vikram) and Best Actress (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan).
Directed by Gautham Ramachandran, ‘Gargi’ revolves around an innocent woman who believes in her father’s innocence, prompting her to fight against all odds to free him. With an amateur lawyer by her side, she sets out to seek justice.
‘Ponniyin Selvan’ and ‘Gargi’ won critical acclaim and commercial success in India and abroad. Their technical excellence, production design and music were also praised. These films will compete with notable productions from Bollywood and regional cinema like ‘Darlings’, ‘Monica O My Darling’, ‘Kanthara’, ‘Jubilee’, Sita Ram and ‘Dahad’.
“Darlings” star Bhatt will compete against Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (“Ponniyin Selvan”), Kajol (“Salam Venki”), Rani Mukerji (“Mrs. Chatterjee Vs Norway”) and Sai Pallavi (“Gargi”) for the best actress category. . The IFFM Awards will be held on 20 August 2023 at the Australian Hammer Hall. The festival will also feature screenings, master classes, panel discussions and cultural events from August 11 to 20, 2023.