Bollywood's most prestigious film award will be held in Toronto, Canada over this weekend, 23rd-25th June , 2011. This year the world's second largest film industry will bring some of its hottest stars to the Greater Toronto Area, starting on Wednesday. Some of Indian cinema's biggest stars arrived Tuesday ahead of this week's International Indian Film Academy Awards and festival.
The 12th Floriana International Indian Film Academy Awards ceremony will be held at Rogers Centre and the Music & Fashion Extravaganza will be at the Ricoh Coliseum where 700 million people will watch the televised version of the event that takes place this Saturday.
This is the first time the IIFA, has been held in Canada and the North America, Toronto's large South Asian population likely influenced the choice as a host city (Ontario is the province with the most Indo-Canadians at 573,250 with 484,655 in the Greater Toronto Area).
The award ceremonies are held in various places around the world and it has been a great ambassador of the country ever since it's conception in 2000 to honour the best of Bollywood.
The scenerio of the award is very similar to that of an Oscars, but with lot more passion and adrenaline to it, said Sabbas Joseph, director of Wizcraft, There's more glamour and glitz.
Bollywood is lively, it's warm, it's fun. It's a celebration. It's an industry that boasts $100-million a year in North American ticket sales, DVD sales and movie soundtracks.
The term Bollywood is applied to Hindi-language movies coming from in Mumbai, (previously named Bombay) India. Although in the Industry the coinage of Bollywood is generally disliked with the notion of being expressed inferiority to their Hollywood counterpart. Bollywood films are mostly musicals and the much hyped song-and-dance numbers woven into the script. A film's success often depends on the quality of musical numbers and popularity.
Toronto's Pearson Airport is expected to be buzzing tonight as three of the Indian's biggest stars are set to land in preparation for the International Indian Film Academy's events this weekend.
Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire and 24), Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth, The Four Feathers) and Bobby Deol have airport officials prepared for a busy night where throngs of fans stationed themselves at Pearson airport's international arrivals area to greet them at Terminal One.
Further frenzy is expected when Bollywood's superstar, Shah Rukh Khan, is said to be landing Friday. Bollywood's version of 'Brangelina' Aishwarya Rai Bachan and Abhishek Bachan are also expected to attend the ceremony where she is nominated as the Best Actress for her role in 'Gujaarish'.
In downtown Toronto, fans have gathered with cameras to catch a glimpse of their favourite arriving stars.
Banners and billboards promoting the IIFA Awards and festival are posted around Toronto, with events also taking place in the neighbouring cities of Mississauga, Brampton and Markham.
Bollywood film crews will film at the CN Tower, Toronto Islands, Bloor-Yorkville shopping district and an indoor hockey rink which clips of the event will be used as part of a three-to-four hour television extravaganza - with dance shows, awards, fashion shows and much more that will be packaged and televised around the globe about a month after the event, said Peter Finestone, film commissioner for the city of Toronto.That's why the tourism and culture people, not just at the city but the province, are so excited about this event, Finestone said.
The annual celebration of Indian's grand film industry is expected to attract 40,000 visitors to the Greater Toronto Area and 24,000 bought tickets to watch the show live at the Rogers Centre Saturday.
The awards ceremony and associated events this week will pump between $26 million and $30 million into the local economy for hotel rooms, food, security, lighting, venues and other expenses, said Sabbas Joseph, a co-founder of Wizcraft International Entertainment.Up to 700 international media have been accredited to cover the awards event, not just from India, but across Asia, the U.K. and the U.S.Many of them will be reporting live from Toronto with the skyline in the background. There's so much value in that, Weir said.Premier Dalton McGuinty announced in January that Ontario would contribute $12 million to host the first IIFA event in North America.
The other big opportunity for corporate and political sponsors is the presence of more than a million south Asians living in Canada, many of them in the Greater Toronto Area, it's the largest and fastest growing ethnic group in the country.
Bollywood movies have become very central to all south Asians, whether you come from India, Pakistan or Afghanistan, said Raza Hasan, a CIBC executive in charge of the program. It's the one thing that brings people together.