The Vidya Balan co-produced film Natkhat and the Marathi film Habaddi will kickstart the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne on October 23. Owing to the threat of the pandemic, the festival will be hosted virtually between October 23 and 30. Opening the virtual festival is "Natkhat", which is a story of a mother teaching her young son about gender equality and calls out toxic misogyny. Sherni: Makers Of Vidya Balan Starrer To Resume Shoot In Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat Forest By October End

It will be screened in a double bonanza package along with Nachiket Samant's "Habbadi", which traces the story of a young boy with a speech impediment. Like every year, the festival will offer over 60 films in 17 languages. The films at the festival will stream for free on the festival's official website. The festival's sections -- Hurrah Bollywood, Beyond Bollywood, Film India World, Documentaries and Shorts -- are expected to be on schedule. Vidya Balan Wearing a Chidiya Tunic With Tassels Is All Love!

"It's an unusual time that the world is going through and now more than ever before, cinema has been people's support system and respite through fairly dark times. IFFM stands strong in its spirit to entertain movie-buffs across the world and hope that we heal a little together," said festival director Mitu Bhowmick Lange.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 15, 2020 11:18 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website