Mumbai to host annual Australian Film Festival

03 February, 2011 by IF

Press release from An Australian Film Initiative

An Australian Film Initiative has announced the inaugural Australian Film Festival of India (AFFI) which will be held annually in Mumbai showcasing a rich slate of Australian films, documentaries and shorts. Peter Castaldi and Anupam Sharma from Australia will be the festival directors.


The Festival Program which will be announced in full later this month will include

* Premiere of a latest Australian film as a part of a rich package of Australian features, shorts and documentaries.

*Retrospective of internationally acclaimed Australian director Bill Bennett.

*Knowledge Series and Master Classes by Leading Australian film professionals as a part of FRAMES 2011.

*Release of the latest edition of India’s only specific guide to Australian film services and facilities along with a festival souvenir as a resource for Indian film industry to involve more Australian film professionals and services in their local and international projects.

*A financial grant for development of an Indo-Australian screen project.

AFFI co-director and veteran Australian film critic Peter Castaldi said, “AFFI is a brilliant and much needed initiative and I am enormously thrilled to be a part of it. A Bill Bennett retrospective for our inaugural event is a fantastic way of introducing the essence of Australian cinema to the Indian production industry and the broader Indian audience. Bill has created a unique range of work that beautifully demonstrates a unique Australian perspective, on comedy, drama, and thriller, historical epic and contemporary issues.”

AFFI co-director and producer Anupam Sharma said “AFFI will celebrate Australian cinematic achievements and is our attempt to provide a much needed, strong platform in India for Australians to promote, collaborate, and distribute their work and cinema culture.”

The biggest Australian film initiative in India, AFFI’s vision is to build a stronger and better bridge through the tools of cinema, culture and trade between the two nations of such similarities. AFFI boasts of a strong and rich board of film and non-film professionals who have great expertise in Australian and Indian film links that date back to the 1930s. The festival has received wide spread support and commendation from Australian and Indian agencies.

Geoff Brown head of Australian Screen Producer’s Association of Australia said, “The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) welcomes this (AFFI) as an important initiative and one that has the full support of SPAA. It will provide a strategic platform for Australian and Indian producers to connect at a meaningful level on the development and financing of future projects, which will be crucial to the success of any official co-production treaty between our two countries.

"We have had many dealings with India through our participation in FRAMES and the Film Bazaar at the Goa International Film Festival. We see India as an important partner for filmmaking in our region, and we believe that this initiative will stimulate exciting creative and commercial relationships for the future.”

Leena Jaisani from FICCI-FRAMES said, “We are delighted and welcome the collaboration with An Australian Film Initiative’s –Australian Film Festival in India (AFFI). Australia and India, with FRAMES in particular, have shared warm and increasingly beneficial relations in the area of films and media with many Australian speakers and delegates participating in FRAMES since it began in 2000. With AFFI and the knowledge series FRAMES hopes to further strengthen the association with Australian film and media industries and welcome many more professional delegates”

Festival organisers say that such an ambitious start for the first year is only a harbinger of AFFI’s promise to develop every year with leading Australian film personalities as patrons, investment into Indo-Australian project and distribution, distribution of quality cinema between the two countries.

Australian Film Festival of India (AFFI) is an undertaking by the An Australian Film Initiative which is a step by like minded Australian film professionals to promote Australian films and distribution networks in emerging and non traditional markets of India, Middle East, and South America among others. The inaugural AFFI screenings will be held on March 26th and 27th this year with the Knowledge series integrated with Frames 2011.