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Australia High Commissioner Ms Harinder Sidhu

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu. Courtesy: Shiv Nadar Foundation

In the biggest ever showcase of Australian films in India, Australia Fest is bringing a curated selection of the best of Australian cinema to the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF).

Australia’s High Commissioner to India, Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu said, “Australia is proud to be the focus country at the 24th edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), presented in partnership with the West Bengal Government. I am delighted that we are able to share a diverse range of Australian films with the Indian audiences.”

“Australia has a strong bilateral engagement with West Bengal and surrounding states. We will shortly open a new consulate-general in Kolkata. Our association with KIFF will further deepen our cultural relationship,” added Ms Sidhu.

“In the last 7 years, Kolkata International Film Festival has had many partners. In the 24th edition of KIFF we have the pleasure of having Australia as a focus country. Australia stands out for celebrating diversity and freedom of expression. KIFF brings to its viewers some of the finest of Australian cinema.

KIFF is thankful to the Australian High Commission in India for its wholehearted cooperation,” said Ms Mahua Banerjee, Director, Kolkata International Film Festival.

As the focus country, Australian films will be presented in three broad categories – 100 Years of Australian Cinema; Contemporary Section and Retrospective of Phillip Noyce. The festival will also celebrate 100 years of both the Australian cinema and the West Bengal Cinema through a poster exhibition.

The film showcase has been curated by Ms Mitu Bhowmick Lange, who is the producer of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.

“What a wonderful honour for all of us to be a part of the Kolkata International Film festival, in the home of Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Mrinal Sen and many other legendary filmmakers,” said Mitu.

“We are so excited to be celebrating the 100 years of Australian cinema, with the screening of the very first Australian film – The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) to the sensational Breath, that will be presented by popular film star Simon Baker, along with a Poster exhibition and the Retrospective of Australian icon Phillip Noyce’s films. We can’t wait to celebrate and revel in the magic of Cinema that binds us all together,” she remarked.

100 Years of Australian Cinema showcase will include the restored version of the first feature length movie ever made in 1906 – The Story of the Kelly Gang, the greatest silent Australian film made from a poem by C.J Dennis of the same name – The Sentimental Bloke, a historical tale of an important battle won by Australians – 40,000 Horsemen. This category will also include a screening of films like.

The Dressmaker, Romper Stomper, classic Australian cult comedy Malcolm and Palme d’Or award 1965 winner Clay. Internationally acclaimed Australian films will be screened in the Contemporary Section including Breath, Mary Magdelene, and Flammable Children.

The Retrospective of the Australia’s most highly acclaimed and successful film directors Phillip Noyce will have screening of some of his all-time favourites: Rabbit Proof Fence, Newsfront, The Quiet American, Patriot Games, Clear and Present danger, and more.

Some of Australia’s celebrated film personalities will also be at the festival to talk about their work, including Actor Simon Baker (The Devil Wears Prada, Breath); Director Garth Davis (Lion); Producer Sue Maslin (The DressMaker); Writer Christos Tsiolkas (Blessed); Oscar- Award-nominated Editor Jill Bilcock ( Moulin Rouge, Elizabeth); Producer Jamie Hilton (Breath, 1%); Director Geoffery Wright (Romper Stomper); Actress, Writer and Producer Victoria Hill (Macbeth, First Reformed); Director Benjamin Gilmour (Jirga) and Iconic Director Phillip Noyce (Rabbit Proof Fence, Patriot Games).

About Australia Fest On 18 September 2018 Australia’s High Commissioner to India Her Excellency Ms Harinder Sidhu, launched Australia Fest – a six month-long celebration of Australian culture and creativity.

Australia Fest has been made possible with the generous support of our partners in three major categories: Platinum: State Governments of Victoria and New South Wales; Gold: Deakin
University; Silver: ANZ Banking Group, Ashok & Mariam Jacob, CQ University Australia, FCM Travel
Solutions, Mahindra, Northern Territory Government, Tata BlueScope Steel, Telstra, Tourism
Australia and Woodside Energy. Australia Fest’s hotel partner is the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), airline partner is Singapore Airlines, wine partner is Jacob’s Creek, and promotion partner is BookMyShow.

For media interviews and enquiries, contact Aditi Vij (9811905633, 9821595866, [email protected])