Special to Earthpages.org
Toronto (Ontario, Canada) will host the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in 2011.
The four-day event from June 16-19 is claimed to attract over 500 leading names from India’s film industry and a worldwide television audience of over 350 million. Starting with London (United Kingdom) in 2000, these annual Awards events have been held in South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, and People’s Republic of China. IIFA Awards are said to recognize, honor and celebrate the achievements of India’s film industry.
Toronto events will reportedly include IIFA Awards gala, World Film Premiere and Film Festival, Global Business Forum, Film Workshop, Charity Fashion Show and Post Show Party. Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who was in Mumbai (India), reportedly thinks of it as an “honour for us to score this coup”, and adds, “Bollywood is quickly becoming as mainstream as Hollywood”.
Welcoming Toronto’s move to host Awards events, Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was time now for American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize India’s contribution to world cinema and introduce a new award category of “Best Bollywood Film” in Oscars for films made in India. This gesture would bring more credibility to Oscars also in the international arena, as it was long overdue, Zed, who is chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, added.
Toronto is North America’s third largest center for film and television production and home of Toronto International Film Festival. About 600,000 residents of Greater Toronto area have roots in India. Bollywood is said to be producing about double the number of movies than Hollywood and about four billion cinema tickets are sold annually in India.
Mumbai based IIFA endeavors to promote Indian cinema and showcase its talent globally. Its founder-directors are Andre Timmins, Viraf Sarkari, and Sabbas Joseph. Its Advisory Board boasts of big Bollywood names: Amitabh Bachchan (Brand Ambassador), David Dhawan, J.P. Dutta, Jaya Bachchan, Karan Johar, Manmohan Shetty, Pahlaj Nihalani, Ramesh Sippy, Shyam Shroff, and Vinod Khanna.