Mumbai to host Australian film fest annually

Mumbai, Feb 2 (Calcutta Tube) A five-day Australian Film Festival of India (AFFI) will be held in Mumbai in March and is set to become an annual affair soon.

The film festival will be organised by An Australian Film Initiative, an effort by a few Australian film professionals who wish to promote Australian films and distribution networks in emerging and -traditional markets of India, Middle East, and South America, among others, a statement said.

The key highlights of the extravaganza would include – a premiere of a latest Australian film, retrospective of internationally acclaimed Australian director Bill Bennett, knowledge series and master classes by Australian film professionals, a financial grant for development of an Indo-Australian screen project, apart from others.

‘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,’ Peter Castaldi, AFFI co-director and veteran Australian film critic, said in a press statement.

The film screenings will be held March 26-27, while the knowledge series will be integrated with the FICCI-FRAMES 2011, scheduled March 23-25.

FICCI Entertainment’s director, Leena Jaisani said: ‘We are delighted and welcome the collaboration with An Australian Film Initiative’s Australian Film Festival in India. 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.’

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