Melbourne: Bollywood actress Vidya Balan is returning as the brand ambassador of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne for the third year in a row.
Balan`s name was announced during the Victorian government`s trade mission to India. The 35-year-old actress is best known for her powerpacked performances in films like `Parineeta`, `The Dirty Picture` and `Kahaani`.
"The Victorian Coalition Government will extend its support for the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne by one year, reinforcing the strong bond that exists between the Victorian and Indian screen industries," said Louise Asher, minister for Innovation, Services and Small Business.
"I am delighted to announce that Indian film star Vidya Balan will return as the Festival`s Ambassador," Asher said.
Balan also expressed her delight to be back as the brand ambassador for the festival.
"The festival is close to my heart as it provides a perfect platform for young and upcoming film makers and showcases the best of films not only from India but also our neighbouring countries," the actress said.
The next year`s festival will also include four award categories including Best direction, Best performance and Best film.
"I am very excited about the festival now having a competitive edge with the four awards that have been announced. It is always very gratifying to get recognition and appreciation for our work and to have that from a foreign audience in a foreign country makes it all the more special," Balan added.
Festival Director, Mitu Bhowmick Lange, expressing her happiness over Balan`s re-appointment, said, "We are delighted to welcome the transcendent Vidya Balan back as our Festival Ambassador for IFFM 2014. With IFFM becoming a competitive festival from next year, we look forward to widening the scope and reach of the festival, and showcasing a vibrant program for 2014."
Asher said the state government was looking forward to future realisation of film and television production currently being developed through the Government`s Victoria-India co-production initiative.
"Such projects play a big part in both cultural and business connections, which is why the Victorian Government is committed to growing our screen industry and growing the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne," Asher said.