A taste of Indian film

STAR POWER: Popular Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan in Melbourne for the Indian Film Festival in May 2014. Picture: Angela Wylie (The Age)
STAR POWER: Popular Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan in Melbourne for the Indian Film Festival in May 2014. Picture: Angela Wylie (The Age)

Decorated actor Amitabh Bachchan will be the star of Isowhey Ballarat Indian Film Festival’s next instalment of its year-long event, with the screening of Cheeni Kum at Ballarat’s Regent Cinemas on Sunday. 

The Bollywood veteran’s 2007 film is a “sugar free” version “without the mush” of the popular film genre, according to event organiser Bobby Mehta.

“This one will be a little bit different,” he said. 

“It’s about a guy who works as a chef and falls in love, but it doesn’t go the way you would expect it to go.”

The film festival, which has monthly screenings, was set up by not-for-profit group SMS Community to bring Indian cinema to Ballarat. 

“It’s the biggest film industry in the world and there was no opportunity for local people to experience it and see what all of the fuss was about,” Mr Mehta said. 

“The group is about bringing communities together and looking at the common things we share with other communities rather than looking at differences all of the time.”

The films, which are all subtitled so everyone can understand them, have ranged across eras and genres with historical epics proving the most popular.

“They are based on true events and people have loved those,” Mr Mehta said. 

While the showings run until December, Mr Mehta said the group would be happy to cater to a call for more films, following a strong response from the community. 

He said the festival had attracted not just people with Indian heritage or background, but a diverse range of people interested in the films and culture, and described the response 11 months in as phenomenal. 

“They’ve just loved the colour, the vibrancy, it’s just completely different to normal cinema, people have loved it,” Mr Mehta said. 

“We are actually looking at doing an international film festival and what other types of movies we can put on – Chinese, Sri Lankan, Italian.”

Cheeni Kum will be showing at Regent Cinemas Ballarat on October 15.

Tickets are now available.

For more information visit regententertainment.com.au/Movie/Cheeni-Kum.