Melbourne, July 12: The much loved Babli – Rani Mukerji will be honoured at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM), for her contribution to cinema and for touching upon a social cause.

Apt with this year’s theme of ‘Inclusion’ this honour to Rani comes after her championship to many social causes through her films like ‘Black’ and ‘Hichki’.

She has championed the spirit of inclusion and the ‘Excellence in Cinema’ 2018 Award for Rani is for her ‘Hichki’, which focuses on overcoming a physical challenge with sheer determination and positivity.

Rani Mukerji with daughter Adira Chopra

Rani’s role in ‘Hichki’ called for inclusion and equality of all individuals in society. The movie itself delved into the life of a woman with Tourette’s Syndrome and how she does not let that come in the way of her dreams.

Hichki is Siddharth P Malhotra’s directorial where Rani plays a teacher suffering from Tourette Syndrome.

“The power of cinema to spread important social messages and enact positive changes is unmatched.

“As an actor, I have been blessed to have got the chance to be a part of such amazing films that have tried to make people sit up and think about society, the need to preserve human lives and to value each individual’s dreams and aspirations,” Rani said in a statement.

She said she is humbled to be chosen for the honour by IFFM.

“I’m thankful that my body of work has contributed to making positive change.

‘Hichki’ is a very special film for me and this honour as part of the colourful Indian International Film Festival of Melbourne makes it even more memorable,” she added.

IFFM Director Mitu Bhowmick Lang said: “Rani is a rare Indian artiste who embodies the spirit of ‘inclusion’ in her work and performances”.

In addition to acting in films, Rani is also involved with several humanitarian causes and is vocal about issues faced by women and children.

She is married to filmmaker Aditya Chopra, with whom she has a daughter.

It is also understood that Rani Mukherji is slated to be the Chief Guest of the festival and will hoists the Indian national flag at Federation Square, alongside the High Commissioner of India in Australia and the Mayor of Melbourne.

Rani in a tweet said: “To unfurl the national flag is a matter of pride and a great honour for every Indian and to be a part of such a prestigious occasion and do the honours outside your nation in a foreign land is even more special.

“I’m delighted, honoured, extremely humbled that they have chosen me to do the honours this year. I am really looking forward to being there at Federation Square in the company of all the Indian-Australian people”.

Southern hemisphere’s greatest annual celebration of Indian cinema, the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne will be held from 10 – 22 August, 2018.

The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne was established in 2012 as an initiative of the Victorian Government and has established itself as an important part of State’s cultural calendar.

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