Mumbai, Jul 1 (PTI) "W.O.M.B (Women Of My Billion)", a poignant documentary exploring the social and political issues faced by women in today's India, will open this year's Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) on August 12, the festival organisers announced on Thursday.
Following the success of last year's digital format, the 12th edition of the IFFM will take place both physically and virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"W.O.M.B", an extraordinary real-life story tailored by director Ajitesh Sharma, will be screened physically from the premiere night. It was also showcased at the London Indian Film Festival last month.
The documentary feature film is the story of a young woman named Srishti Bakshi who embarks on a monumental journey, walking almost 4000km over 240 days, from Kanyakumari in the south to Kashmir, in the North, along the way meeting and learning first hand about the experiences of many women from all corners of India.
Srishti Bakshi said the documentary celebrates ordinary women who have shown extraordinary courage to rise above their limitations and challenge deeply entrenched gender norms.
"Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation and since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the world locking down to live within four walls, emerging data and reports from those on the frontlines have shown that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has only intensified," she said in a statement.
Apoorva Bakshi, producer of "W.O.M.B", said the team is proud to be the opening night film at the IFFM 2021 and is looking forward to sharing it with audiences worldwide.
"This documentary not only presents facts but also highlights possible solutions which can be implemented today," she added.
The physical format of the IFFM will run from August 12 to 20, while its digital edition will run from August 15 to 30 across Australia.
In 2021, the IFFM pays tribute to not only the best of Indian cinema, but to many of the Covid-19 heroes, offering vital community support, connection and hope in these troubled times, said festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange.
"After the unprecedented challenges faced over the last 18 months, we are excited to bring the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne back to the big screen, while our digital platform will ensure viewers around Australia can access the Festival too," Bhowmick Lange said.
"Film Victoria is proud to be the principal partner of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne. For over a decade, this incredible celebration of Indian film and culture has given Victorians the opportunity to engage with diverse and compelling screen stories, and it's wonderful that this year we can come together both in cinemas across Melbourne and online," added Caroline Pitcher, Film Victoria CEO.
The IFFM celebrates Indian cinema in all its forms, and provides an excellent opportunity for filmmakers to showcase their films on an international platform. PTI RDS