Your Guide to Opening Night at the Inaugural Bollywood Film Festival

kennedy bollywood film festival

The Bollywood Film Festival is coming to Australia and will open up your cinematic horizons. Taking place all across the country, and sporting different types of movies that’ll leave everyone satisfied, the Bollywood Film Festival is all about letting you explore the colour and vibrance, but also the grit and emotion, that Indian films have to offer.

Like any great film festival, the Bollywood Film Festival’s opening night will be a moment to behold. No matter where you’re attending the festival, night one will be as bright and vivid as you’d expect — including the neo-noir film you’ll be watching. Here’s how you can expect the opening night of the Bollywood Film Festival to unfold.

The inaugural Bollywood Film Festival occurs simultaneously around Australia in seven different cities. Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra and Gold Coast will have the chance to experience the festival, and the opening night experience will be replicated across each city — with those in Sydney getting a very special guest.

Now, the Bollywood Film Festival’s dates (November 2 — 5) align with Diwali, so guests can expect the opening night gala to reflect that. At the entrance to each cinema — the full list of participating cinemas you can see here — there will be marigold garland curtains hanging. When you enter, you’ll see these cinema foyers transformed with festoon lights and light-up leaf garlands strewn across the ceiling. Across counters and bars, you’ll find origami lotus tealights that compliment the fairy lights and lanterns illuminating the place.

A glass of moscato wine or beer is complimentary to everyone attending the opening night gala, and you’ll find those glasses on tables with beautiful, ornate tapestry runners across them. On the walls behind these tables, you’ll see stunning marigold mandalas. In keeping with Diwali, each guest will be gifted a sweet treat perfect for the cinema — multicoloured sweet popcorn, with custom boxes that celebrate the festival.

However, those in Sydney will get a special treat. Cricketing icon (and Bollywood star) Brett Lee will be attending opening night, so you know this will be a special event. You’ll be watching the film by one of India’s biggest directors alongside someone who knows all too well how special they are.

Of course, there’s the opening night movie itself — “Kennedy.” Premiering at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, “Kennedy” is a neo-noir thriller that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. An ex-cop has left the force, and is presumed dead, but instead works as a driver (while also being a skilled assassin and blackmailer). Working under a corrupt police commissioner, Kennedy continues operating in the underbelly of society. But one job throws him too far in the deep, and he’s suddenly embroiled in a scandal that permeates the elite.

The opening night of the Bollywood Film Festival is bound to be a night to remember. But to get the most out of what Indian cinema has to offer, be sure to check out the full program of the Bollywood Film Festival and fall in love with Bollywood for the first time, or all over again.

Tickets for the 2023 Bollywood Film Festival are available now via the official website.

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