By Ashok Kumar:
The popularity of Bollywood in Australia has grown so much that it has become a household name in the country. In fact, anything associated with India has a Bollywood link to it. Last week, the CeBit was launched in Sydney Opera House and a Bollywood performance was showcased in the event since India was the Partner Country. The SBS is telecasting a four part series from June 2, 2012, the Bollywood Stars besides showing at least one Hindi movie on its channel.
International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) after its inception has been taken to several countries of the world but yet to see the lights in Australia. After his return from the South Africa where the event took place about three years ago, an excited Mr. Ashish Mehta, one of the Directors of Klubsutra.com Pty Ltd, called me late in the night to announce that he is bringing IIFA to Australia, Melbourne to be precise. The show is likely to be staged in 2014 if all plans of the Victorian Government fall in place.
Klubsutra.com Pty Ltd – Australia’s largest South East Asian Entertainment Company was appointed by International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) in October 2009 to work on the feasibility of undertaking IIFA Awards weekend to the Asia Pacific region. Being IIFA’s exclusive associates in Asia Pacific region, KlubSutra.com also represents IIFA’s principal owners to various public bodies and stakeholders in Australia.
Over the last three years, Mr Ashish Mehta and Mr Ashish Chawla Directors of KlubSutra.com Pty Ltd had been working with some of the top officials from Victoria Major Events Corporation (VMEC) and other government bodies to finalise a formal plan to bid to host the 2014 edition of International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Melbourne. Prior to the last elections in Victoria the ruling Coalition had released a Bollywood Policy to boost the state’s relations with Bollywood, a bid to host IIFA in Melbourne being the top priority.
Melbourne has always taken a lead when it come to Bollywood event. The Melbournians got the taste of Bollywood when the actors gave a scintillating performance during the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games and the various Indian Film festivals and film shoots.
Conceptualized and produced by Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. and supported by the key members of the Indian film fraternity, IIFA is the most appreciated South Asian film academy. Also, the IIFA Awards is India’s biggest media event. With a viewership of almost 800 million, it is among the world’s most-watched annual entertainment events.
From a one night celebration in 2000 at the Millennium Dome, London, the last ten years have seen the IIFA movement grow into a packed weekend of film-festivals, workshops, exhibitions, film-showcases, a global business forum and sporting events, all of which climax into the highlight of the Weekend, the IIFA Awards
On 14th May 2012, the IIFA revealed a fresh, completely new look for the IIFA Awards being held in Singapore, this June. Shahid Kapoor will host the prestigious Awards presentation ceremony and superstar-choreographer, Prabhu Deva will choreograph the spectacular that enjoys a phenomenal viewership of almost 800 million over more than a 100 countries.
As we get closer to the 13th IIFA Awards, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) also announced a stellar list of performers today, promising to leave audiences mesmerized in the Lion City of Singapore. The A-list Performers line up of Sonakshi Sinha, Shahid Kapoor, Bipasha Basu and Prabhu Deva were unveiled in Mumbai, as the actors graced a media gathering to announce the Videocon IIFA Weekend.
Mr. Pradeep Dhoot, Director – Videocon Group says “Videocon and IIFA share a common vision to showcase India across the globe. Videocon is a household name and India’s No. 1 brand of Consumer Electronics and Home Appliance that is driven by the philosophy of innovation and customer centricity. Our brand is trusted by millions on our ability to improve their quality of life, through our wide range of products and highly-efficient customer service. Videocon is delighted to be associated with the Videocon IIFA Weekend for the fourth year in succession.”
Mr. Nitin Vaidya, Business Head, Hindi Channels, STAR India said, “For years, STAR Plus and IIFA have showcased Indian cinema across the global stage. It is with great pride that we announce bringing the Awards to Singapore. There’s a genuine appreciation and huge following for Indian cinema in Singapore and this is complemented by the large Indian-origin population in the city state. We look forward to another magnificent event this year with IIFA 2012.”
Actor, Shahid Kapoor is set to win the hearts of over 800 million viewers across the world as he hosts his first IIFA Awards, in June. Shahid has previously performed at IIFA in Singapore (2004) and Amsterdam (2005). The actor will also be seen performing at the Awards night.
Says Shahid Kapoor, “I am extremely excited about the IIFAs this year especially because it is my first time hosting this global event. It is always wonderful to be part of this grand celebration, it reassures the reach of Indian Cinema and I could not be more thrilled to represent our film fraternity.”
Actor Anil Kapoor, expressed, “IIFA over the years has become one of the most iconic platforms that the world respects and the entire fraternity looks forward to, as the magic unfold year on year. It has been an incredible experience and a great journey with IIFA; we look forward to giving our fans in Singapore the opportunity to witness one of the finest celebrations of Indian Cinema.”
Speaking on the association, Mr. Rohit Nandan, IAS, CMD – Air India said, “Air India is proud to be the official travel partner of the 13th IIFA Awards which is also known as the Oscars of Bollywood, scheduled to be held in Singapore during June 7th-9th, 2012. Our film industry actors are our cultural ambassadors and we, the national carrier, do take genuine pride in flying them to the Lion City of Singapore. We are also pleased to recall Air India’s first association with IIFA way back in 2000 in its inaugural edition.”
Actor Sonakshi Sinha said, “The IIFA stage is an exhilarating platform for any performer and Singapore is going to be truly exciting, with millions of screaming fans in attendance. It is a great opportunity for me personally to represent Indian Cinema on such a global scale. I am sure that the IIFAs this year will rock too!”
The Videocon IIFA Weekend celebrations, presented by Videocon and organized by Wizcraft International Entertainment, will see prominent members of the Indian film industry in Singapore for the three-day weekend. The weekend will feature various film briefings, the IIFA World Premiere of PVR’s SHANGHAI, directed by Dibakar Banerjee, featuring Kalki, Emraan Hashmi and Abhay Deol, IIFA Rocks – a fashion and music extravaganza, culminating with the night of nights, the IIFA Awards presentation ceremony.
“It is heartening to the growth IIFA has witnessed in the past 12 years of its existence and the impact it has had on the minds and hearts of people across the globe. We are committed to providing the best in entertainment to our audiences and IIFA Singapore will reiterate our vision of bringing together for the grandest celebration of Indian Cinema.” added Wiz Sabbas Joseph – Director, Wizcraft International Entertainment Ltd.