IFFM: Rani Mukerji hoists the tricolor; 'Love Sonia' opens the festival with rave reviews

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Running from the August 10-22, The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne began with a vibrant press conference that had the media abuzz. The event is attended by Rani Mukerji, Rajkumar Hirani, Freida Pinto, Vicky Kaushal, Richa Chadha and Ali Fazal, along with the minister for equality and culture, Martin Foley.

This morning, immigrants from all across Melbourne flocked to see their favourite superstar, Rani, unfurl the Indian tricolour proudly at the iconic Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne city. With over 10,000 people watching, Rani spoke of the honour and said, “ I think it’s a matter of national honour for anyone to hoist their national flag. And the fact that I’m doing it in Australia so far away from home is even more special and makes it more patriotic. I’m humbled that this honour's been bestowed upon me by Mitu and the Victorian government so I must thank them. I have had the love of the audiences for the last 22 years and it’s that love that has got me here today. So I must thank the audiences the most. I most remember the patriotic song from my father’s film Hum HindustaniChodo kal Ki Batein. I really miss him here today.”

Recommended Read: Rani Mukerji, Rajkumar Hirani, Vicky Kaushal kick-start the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne

Rani and Vicky also took to the stage to dance with the children from Emotion 21, a dance company that works with children who suffer from down syndrome. The actors danced to Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire with the children.

Malaika Arora Khan also attended the festival as the judge of a Bollywood Dance Competition.

The opening night of the festival also brought in eager cinephiles to watch Tabrez Noorani’s Love Sonia at a famous cinema in the city center of Melbourne, starring Manoj Bajpayee, Freida Pinto, Mrunal Thakur and Richa Chadha. Revolving around the life of a young girl who gets trapped in the ugly world of sex trafficking, the film tackles the rather crucial issue of the global flesh trade in the most poignant way possible. The film is scheduled to release in India in September.

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