A night filled with glitter, paparazzi, amazing performances and celebrations, The Indian Film Festival Melbourne Awards 2017, held last night, was a star-studded gala event.
Amongst the crowd of film fanatics was present the who's who of Bollywood including Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who awarded the Westpac IFFM Excellence in Global Cinema Award.
The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne will be true to its theme of celebrating diversity in cinema and the 13-day event will witness film screenings, various master classes by eminent filmmakers, award nights, dance competitions, concerts, competition and much more.
The IFFM Award winners were announced at a gala event at the iconic venue - Melbourne Recital Centre. The evening started with an energizing performance by the Kakkar sisters - Akriti, Prakriti and Sukriti - who performed together for the first time in Australia.
Dangal and Bahubali 2 stole the show at IFFM 2017 with galore of awards. The list of the winners at Westpac IFFM include:
Best Indie Film : Lipstick Under My Burkha
Best Director : Nitesh Tiwari for Dangal
Equality in Cinema Award: Director/Actor Rahul Bose for Poorna
Best Actress : Konkona Sen Sharma for Lipstick Under my Burkha
Best Actor : Sushant Singh Rajput for Dhoni
Best Actor (Special Mention) : Raj Kumar Rao for Trapped
Best Film : Pink
People’s Choice Award : Dangal & Bahubali 2
Leadership in cinema: Karan Johar
Speaking about Popular Choice and Best Director win, Nitesh Tiwari said, "This is my international award and it will truly be remembered".
Expressing his happiness to receive the award, Sushant said, "Thank you so so much. I'm so honoured. Last time I was in Melbourne it was in 2006 was the Commonwealth Games where I was a backup dancer for the so so beautiful Bollywood stars and this time I'm here to receive the Best Actor Award."
A delighted Aishwarya said, "I'm so humbled and filed with gratitude to be given this award. We as creative people always wish to do more and I'm far far away from resting. As an artist I have so much more to explore but it's great to have this honour. But above all I must thank the fans, who have loved me so immensely and it's because of you we get to live our dream, our passion ".
Karan took to stage to receive the award from Simi Garewal and shared his happiness. He said, "This is my first time in Australia and what a special reason to be present here for it. For me filmmaking is always my first love. It's amazing how as directors we get to build people, break them emotionally, cheer them and make them feel happy".
Simi Grewal, Malaika Arora, Tannishtha Chatterjee and Shoojit Sircar also attended the event.