The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne kick-started their tenth-year celebrations here on Thursday. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, the guest of honour at the festival, couldn’t help but take a jibe at himself for not making as many hits as he would like to.
SRK had earlier shot for the 2007 blockbuster “Chak De! India” in Australia, and he said that he is happy to be back in the country. The superstar, whose last few releases including “Zero” and “Fan” have failed to live up to expectations of fans, quipped: “Many years ago in 2006-07, I came here when I was a rising superstar, giving hit film after hit film. Now I am back, still a rising superstar not making as many hit films (chuckles) as I would want to.”
His good friend and filmmaker Karan Johar was also present at the event.
Talking about Shah Rukh, Karan said: “He fully represents superstardom. I firmly believe, in the era, we belonged to, the term is understood because of him. It’s not just about his large heart but his tremendous presence and aura. The fact that he is an outstanding actor is the hugest icing on the cake.”
Karan thanked the people behind the festival for making it what it is. “I have to start by thanking Mitu Bhowmick Lange (director of the festival) who has been such a strong force right through the festival. It’s not the films but the people behind the festival who make it what it is. When I see this fantastic panel and we say the theme is courage, I say the panel is reflective of the glorious courage of our films and changing face of Indian cinema. It represents three feature films that have changed the way we look at Indian cinema and how it has travelled across the globe and will continue to do so. There is ‘Super Deluxe’, ‘Andhadhun’ and ‘Gully Boy’. All of these have appealed not only to the diaspora but to international audiences across the globe, making Indian cinema so proud,” he said.
Also in attendance were filmmakers Zoya Akhtar, Rima Das, Thiagarajan Kumararaja and Sriram Raghavan, and actors Tabu and Arjun Kapoor.
“It’s been 10 wonderful years of the festival. I’m so grateful for all the guests who have come here year on year and been part of the festival. I’m extremely humbled and excited to have Shah Rukh Khan here as our chief guest and to have the friend of our festival and one of the best film directors of India, Karan Johar. And the esteemed panel of guests,” said Mitu Bhowmick Lange.
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne will go on from August 8 to 15. The festival will screen over 60 films from all across India and the subcontinent in over 22 languages.