The Australian Indian Film Festival (AIFF) celebrates the best of Bollywood and regional Indian cinema.
SBS Film

28 Aug 2008 - 3:43 PM  UPDATED 7 Nov 2012 - 4:30 AM

The Australian Indian Film Festival (AIFF) kicks off in Sydney this weekend with a screening of Aamir Khan\'s inspirational Taare Zameen Par (Stars on Earth). The film champions the power of imagination in its depiction of an imaginative eight year-old boy  who is packed off to boarding school by his straitlaced parents. However, their plans to discipline him backfire when an enthusiastic new art teacher joins the staff.
The major highlight of this year\'s festival program is a landmark retrospective of acclaimed director Satyajit Ray, whose films helped draw the world\'s attention to the cinema of India. Ray received an honorary Academy Award in 1992, \"In recognition of his rare mastery of the art of motion pictures, and of his profound humanitarian outlook, which has had an indelible influence on filmmakers and audiences throughout the world\".

Films screening in the retrospective include Pather Panchali and Apur Sansar, the first and last films in Ray\'s \'Apu trilogy\', which follow the life of a character named Apu as he evolves from a son into a young man and finally, a father.

Ray\'s versatility was his trademark; he wrote his scripts solo, designed the sets and costumes, operated the camera and edited each frame. He composed the music, scoring it in a mixture of Western and Indian notation. He even designed the credits and posters, having earlier worked as a professional graphic designer and illustrator.

The Australian Indian Film Festival runs from August 29 until September 7 at Cinema Paris in Sydney, and heads south to Melbourne\'s Cinema Nova on September 3, where it runs until September 17).