The Melbourne Recital Centre became a cultural gala on August 12th as the winners of the Westpac Indian Film Festival of Melbourne and the Western Union Short Film Festival were announced.
Amongst the crowds was Bollywood hallmark Rishi Kapoor who was awarded the Westpac Excellence In Cinema Award for 2016. Kapoor, who has as many as 147 acting credits to his name (think that’s only eighteen less than Samuel L. Jackson) also appeared in the Telstra Best Film winner, Kapoor & Sons (since 1921) where he played alongside fellow festival attendee Fawad Khan.
Feminist drama Parched added to its spate of international film awards by taking home the Westpac Best Indie Film Award and the Westpac Best Director Award going to the film’s director Leena Yadav. Parched will receive a second showing on Friday the 19th for those who missed the opening night screening.
The Westpac awards for best actor and actress went to Nawazuddin Siddiqi for his role in Raman Ragav 2.0 and Sonam Kapoor for her respective role in one of Bollywood’s highest grossing films for the year, Neerja.
The night also featured the announcement of the Western Union Short Film Festival Best Film Award. The prize this year was taken out by Josh Walker for his film Out on a Lim, which follows WAAPA student Rachel Lim, who has become a brilliant pianist and singer despite being blind.
The ceremony was also graced by Empowerment Concert, which saw legendary female singer songwriters Sara Haider, Shalmali Kholgade and Suzanne D’Mello Misquitta take to the stage for powerful musical performances.
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne will continue to run until the 21st of August. Visit http://iffm.com.au for further details.