The 14th International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFAs), touted as India’s version of the Oscars, took place in the Chinese gambling haven of Macau on Saturday. The event also celebrated a century of Bollywood, which makes up a big chunk of a multi-billion-dollar film industry.
Hosted by Bollywood heartthrobs Shahrukh Khan and Shahid Kapoor, the four-hour ceremony of pulsating dance routines and colourful costume changes was attended by an audience of over 7,000 screaming fans. The IIFA, which made its debut in 2000, was held in Singapore last year and is held in a different country annually.
Some of Indian cinema’s biggest names, including Deepika Padukone set the Macau arena alight with high octane performances, while actors like Boman Irani and modern pin ups, such as Vidya Balan, graced the green carpet.
“We make musicals. I think every film is a musical. Every film has at least six to seven songs,” said Ayushmann Khurrana, who won the Best Debut (Male) award for Vicky Donor, a romantic comedy about sperm donation. “So that is how Bollywood is completely different from Hollywood.”
But it was the fans’ favourite Shahrukh Khan, wearing a shiny black suit, who drove the crowd into frenzy as they chanted his name. “I think it’s an amazing platform,” Khan said of the IIFAs, which he felt took Bollywood films “all over the world”.
Romantic comedy Barfi! led the way with 13 nominations including the awards for best actor and best picture.
On his third trip to the IIFAs, The Expendables 2 star Jean-Claude Van Damme arrived at the awards, reportedly scouting for “Indian talent” to work in his next international venture, Luxury Meets Justice.
Not only were the performances youth-centric, but this year’s IIFAs also focused on fostering and cultivating acting talent among the youth with their workshop on acting with Anupam Kher called “100 years of Indian cinema: An actor Prepares”. The actor conducted interactive exercises with the audience.
Madhuri Dixit received a standing ovation from the audience for her stunning dance performance. Dixit started her performance by greeting Macau after which she performed on her signature numbers like Dola Re Dola, Mera Piya Ghar Aaya and Ek Do Teen, among others.
Padukone performed to some of her hit numbers, including Angreji Beat, Tum Hi Ho Bandhu and Balam Pichkari, while Parineeti Chopra and Khurrana performed together. Wearing a glittery choli and lehenga, Sridevi gave a dazzling performance with choreographer Prabhudeva. Sridevi also performed in a similar attire from her film English Vinglish.
Indian cinema is thriving commercially after the country produced almost 1,500 movies last year and the industry is expected to grow to $3.6 billion from $2 billion in the next five years, according to the consultancy firm KPMG.
This year IIFA truly lived up to its reputation of being one of the most stylish yet traditional award functions once again. A mix of old and new stars were present for the weekend, including SRK, Shahid, Madhuri Dixit, Parineeti Chopra, Sonu Sood, and Arjun Kapoor to name a few.
And the award goes to…
Best Actor: Ranbir Kapoor (Barfi!)
Best Female Actor: Vidya Balan (Kahaani)
Best Film: Barfi!
Best Director: Anurag Basu (Barfi!)
Best Story: Tani and Anurag Basu (Barfi!)
Best Supporting Actor (Male): Annu Kapoor (Vicky Donor)
Best Supporting Actor (Female): Anushka Sharma (Jab Tak Hai Jaan)
Best Debut (Male): Ayushmann Khurrana (Vicky Donor)
Best Debut (Female): Yami Gautam (Vicky Donor)
Best Actor in a Comic Role: Abhishek Bachchan (Bol Bachchan)
Best Actor in a Negative Role: Rishi Kapoor (Agneepath)
Star Jodi of the Year: Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor
Published in The Express Tribune, July 9th, 2013.
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