We’ve heard of film stars delaying film schedules due to their packed calendars. But an entire film festival? Apparently, the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) has pushed back its opening date by a day, to accommodate Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra.
Producer Vicky Bahri confirms, “We had committed to open the festival on June 10, but it clashed with another tie-up we had with the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in Singapore.”
Shahid will be co-hosting the annual awards ceremony, along with Farhan Akhtar. Bahri adds, “Due to the time difference, we will reach Melbourne only by 7.30 pm on June 10. It would be difficult to make it in time for the opening ceremony, which was going to be presided over by the Premier of Victoria, Ted Ballieu. So they were graceful enough to push the festival by a day to accommodate us.”
Now opening on June 11, the festival has The Dirty Picture (2011) star, Vidya Balan, as is its official ambassador. South actor Vijay, 3 Idiots director Raju Hirani, designer Sabyasachi and former child actor Jugal Hansraj were also slated to attend the festival. They have already been informed that they need to reset their dates.
Bahri adds, “There is a huge craze among NRIs and foreigners for Indian movies. These festivals are a good way to promote the film and increase our fan base.”
Kunal Kohli’s Teri Meri Kahaani, featuring the rumoured ex-couple as on-screen lovers, spans the 1920s, ’60s and finally, 2012.
Mitu Bhowmick-Lange, festival director, IFFM, confirms, “One of the reasons for postponing the date was to accommodate Shahid and Priyanka. Also, June 11 is the Queen’s birthday, a national holiday in Australia. It’s a better date to begin our celebrations a day later.”