Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will be a special guest at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) 2017.
The 43-year-old star will attend the opening weekend of this year's festival, which runs from August 10-22 and also hoist the Indian national flag at the iconic Federation Square building on August 12 to mark the 70th Indian Independence Day celebrations.
Aishwarya will be the first female actor to hoist the tricolour at the annually held flag hoisting ceremony, which has been a special segment of the film fest.
"IFFM is proud to welcome one of India's most loved and iconic actors - Aishwarya Rai Bachchan - to the festival and look forward to celebrating Indian cinema in Australia," Mitu Bhowmick-Lange, festival director, said.
"Aishwarya will be also walking the red carpet as a special guest at the star-studded awards night to be held on August 11 at Melbourne's Recital Centre."
The 13-day festival will commence with the Australian premiere of Alankrita Shrivastava's "Lipstick Under My Burkha".
Other big names to attend this year's IFFM are Karan Johar, Raveena Tandon, Simi Garewal, Konkona Sen Sharma, Malaika Arora, Rahul Bose, Rajkummar Rao, "Dangal" director Nitesh Tiwari, Onir, Shootjit Sircar and Tannishtha Chatterjee.
Masterclasses, Q&As and dance competitions are part of the fest. This year, Johar will hold a masterclass on 'Directing the Bollywood dream'.