This May, a grand film festival in Australia aimed at bringing together films across India, Pakistan and Nepal in the first edition of Indian Film Festival and Awards of Australia [IF FAA]. However the festival has now faced a major setback as the authorities have decided to cancel the same owing to constant threats.
The said festival was supposed to have the presence of Bollywood as well as Pakistani celebrities. However, the announcement was followed by the authorities receiving terror threats from fundamentalist groups asking them to drop Pakistani artists from the festival. While the authorities complied with their demands, soon the groups forced the organizers to cancel the event itself.
Talking about the same, festival director Vvikas Paul added that not only did he receive threats from ‘vested interest groups’ but also that he was worried about the safety of everyone including the celebrities and his own team who would be present at the event. Hence they decided to shun the event that was being planned for the past two years.
Let us remind you that after the Uri attacks last year, the situation between India and Pakistan turned extremely sensitive with groups protesting against the influx of Pakistani artists within the country and many films faced major setbacks in their release. Now, considering that the IF FAA aimed at bringing together Bollywood and Pakistani artists together on the same stage, the festival too faced similar issues.
Recent reports also claim that this Australian festival also faced severe social media campaigns calling it ‘anti-Indian’ which is also regarded to be one of the reasons behind the cancellation of the event.
Amongst Bollywood celebrities, the guest list included personalities like Jeetendra and his daughter Ekta Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Ileana D’Cruz, Sonu Sood, Sonu Nigam among others. On the other hand, Imran Abbas, Humayun Saeed, Hareem Farooq were some of the Pakistani celebrities slated to grace the event.