The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne is all set to kick off its festivities this Friday, 10 August.

This year’s IFFM is packed with events such as Q&As, panel discussions, an awards night, a dance competition and a flag hoisting.  The festival will continue till August 22

The celebration will begin with a star-studded opening night on 10 August where the Australian premiere of Tabrez Noorani’s Love Sonia will be screened. Among those scheduled to attend the event include Tabrez Noorani, actors Manoj Bajpayee, Frieda Pinto, Richa Chadha and Mrunal Thakur.

August 11 will be a full day of IFFM events where fans will witness Rani Mukerji hoisting the Indian national flag at Melbourne’s iconic federation square, alongside the mayor and the high commissioner of the city. Malaika Arora Khan, Nikhil Advani, Avtar Panesar will be judging the Bollywood Dance Competition.

This will be followed by more than five panel discussions with India’s one of the best and most experienced film talents who will talk about their lives, struggles and successes. Raj Kumar Hirani, Rani Mukerji, Ali Fazal, Freida Pinto and trade analyst Taran Adarsh will be part of the panel discussions.

On August 12, there will be the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards Night.

From Amitabh Bachchan to Rishi Kapoor, the biggest stars of Indian cinema have been part of this glamorous evening. Jury members such as Sue Maslin, Simi Garewal and Nikhil Advani, pick the most deserving winners in every category. This is the first time  Nikhil Advani will be on the jury panel.

Iconic music duo Sachin-Jigar will perform at the awards night.

As part of the mega event, film lovers will be able to watch selected flicks screened across the city. Among the films selected for screening is blockbuster Sanju. “It’s going to be my first time in Melbourne and I’m so happy that the reason for it is the prestigious IFFM. I’m looking forward to being there with the team of our special film ‘Sanju’. Can’t wait to interact with the cinema lovers in Melbourne,” says Sanju actor Vicky Kaushal who is debuting at the festival. He will be present for the Q&A and panel discussion with his director Rajkumar Hirani.

Some of the films screened will be having an Australian Premiere. These are Nude, Jonaki, Bhasmasur, Teen aur Aadha, Village Rockstars, Sir, The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir, and Cycle.

Other films include Gali Guliyan, Balekempa, Juze, Chumbak, Ascharya F**kit, Ralang Road, Thondimuthum Driksakshiyum, Bhayanakam.

IFFM for the first time also has a children’s section.