IIFA Awards

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IIFA Awards
Presented by
Contents
Text
Shashi Sunny
Photos
Ahtushi
Shruti Singh (Coordination)
Editorial
Amit Dixit
Venky Vembu
Design
Gulshan Sharma
EDITORIAL CHAIRMAN: VINOD MEHTA
BUSINESS OFFICE
PRESIDENT
Indranil Roy
VICE PRESIDENTS
Johnson D’Silva, Shishir Saxena,
Vidya Menon,
Jaspal Singh Sahi (Digital)
SENIOR GENERAL MANAGER
Uma Srinivasan (Chennai)
GENERAL MANAGERS
Kabir Khattar (Corp),
Mohan Singh Bisht,
Rashmi Lata Swarup, B.S. Johar
(Subs), A.G. Subramaniam
DEPUTY GENERAL MANAGER
Vineet Baijal
NATIONAL HEAD–(CIRCULATION)
Vipul Jain
HEAD BRAND & MARKETING
Shrutika Dewan
ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGERS
Amit Vaz, Manoj Nair (West),
Sushil K Menon (South),
Anindya Banerjee (West),
G. Ramesh (South), Rajendra Kurup
6
CHIEF MANAGERS
Anuj Gopal Mathur,
Shashank Dixit
SENIOR MANAGERS
Nikhil Tanawade,
Shekhar Kumar Pandey
ZONAL SALES MANAGER
Vinod Kumar (North)
MANAGERS:
Diwan Singh Bisht,
Rupali Biswas, Vinod Joshi
HEAD OFFICE
AB-10, S.J. Enclave,
New Delhi - 110 029
Tel: 011-33505500; Fax: 26191420
Customer care helpline:
011-33505562, 33505500
e-mail: [email protected]
For editorial queries:
[email protected]
For subscription helpline:
[email protected]
For other queries:
[email protected]
IIFA AWARDS
16
20
18 FLASHBACK IIFA
OTHER OFFICES
MUMBAI Tel: 022-33545000;
Fax: 33545100
CALCUTTA Tel: 33545400;
Fax: 24650145
CHENNAI Tel: 33506300;
Fax: 33506327
BANGALORE Tel: 45236100;
Fax: 45236105
HYDERABAD Tel: 2337 1144
20 HOW IIFA CRAFTs
WIN-WIN PARTNERSHIPS
22 selfies with the stars
Printed and published by Indranil Roy
on behalf of Outlook Publishing (India)
Pvt. Ltd. Editor: Krishna Prasad.
Printed at IPP Limited, C 4-C 11,
Phase-II, Noida and published from
AB-10, S.J. Enclave, New Delhi-110 029
Published for the
week of June 10-16, 2014
Released on June 09, 2014
Total no. of pages 24 + Covers
6 IT’S SHOWTIME IN TAMPA
16 GREEN CARPET GLAMOUR
24 HOW WIZCRAFT BUILT
THE IIFA BRAND
22
9 June 2014 OUTLOOK
5
It’s Showtime
in Tampa!
The IIFA Awards event debuts in the US, and
expands Bollywood’s global footprint
With a swirl of skirts, Deepika Padukone
performs a scintillating number; and
(facing page) John Travolta shakes a
leg along with Priyanka Chopra
00
19 May 2014 OUTLOOK
I
f the breathless
squeals of
delight that
followed actor
Anil Kapoor in Tampa,
Florida, wherever he
went during the IIFA
Awards weekend in
late April are an audible
metric, he was clearly
Tampa’s favourite son.
And that’s saying something when Hollywood icon John Travolta and House of
Cards actor Kevin Spacey were among
the star billings at the show. As Santiago
Corrada, president of Visit Tampa Bay,
noted with a smile, Kapoor was arguably the best-known Indian actor in
America, particularly after his inquisitorial role in the 2008 Oscar-winning
film Slumdog Millionaire. Validation
of that high status would come yet
again at the final awards show on the
night of April 26 at the Raymond James
Stadium, where a capacity crowd of
28,000 ticket-holders waited hours for
the star-studded extravaganza to kick
off. As Kapoor walked the Green Carpet
waving to his adoring fans, the 57-yearold actor said: “It has been an amazingly
flamboyant weekend. IIFA is getting
bigger and better each year, and so is its
fan club. I’m delighted—and proud—to
be here as part of the IIFA fraternity.”
That sentiment seemed to encapsulate pretty much the overarching view
of every one of the thousands of fans
who had come to support the 15-yearold IIFA’s first show in the US, following up on its debut in North America in
2011—in Toronto.
Eight months of intense planning
peaked at the bay city of Tampa in
the sunshine state of Florida, as the
glamour, the grandeur and the excitement of the International Indian Film
Academy (IIFA) Awards event exploded in a frenzy of stardust, colour,
music and dance for four days from
April 23. Fans of Hindi cinema, who
had gathered in Tampa for a festival
of glamour and glitz, said that owing
to the economic downturn of recent
years, Indian star shows had become
a rarity in the US. So, when IIFA
brought Bollywood to Tampa, the fans
came from afar—even cross-country
Outlook 16 June 2014
from California and Nevada—just to
be part of the spectacular show.
The Bolly-buzz had not just people of
Indian origin in the US in its grip; even
Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Afghans and
Sri Lankans in the US had been in thrall
of it in the run-up. “Aren’t you going for
the IIFA Awards?” they asked of one
another with breathless enthusiasm.
And evidently a fair number of them
did turn up in Tampa for the weekend
of the show. The bay city in Florida was
subjected to what seemed like an Indian cultural ‘invasion’. Even the Mayor
of Tampa, Bob Buckhorn, was spotted
in an electric-blue Nehru jacket!
It mattered little whether you had
tickets to one or all of the many starstudded peripheral events scheduled
during that starry weekend. The fans
were just plain happy to throng the
venues, stalk the hotels, and line the
streets. Just catching a fleeting glimpse
7
iifa awards 2014
tampa bay
of a Bollywood star provided excitement enough to keep them on a prolonged high. Some had paid as much
as $25,000 for the entire package of
events and the stay at the Tampa’s
Hilton for the weekend—so as to
have their fill of star-gazing. Andre
Timmins, one of the directors of
Wizcraft, the company that built
the IIFA brand and was hosting
the show, said: “It’s crazy to see the
enthusiasm: over 15 years, I have
only seen it get crazier. We have
hosted the show in Macau, Dubai,
Colombo, Amsterdam, Toronto,
among other world cities, but it is
even bigger here.”
Sabbas Joseph, director of
Wizcraft Entertainment International, emphasised how IIFA builds
win-win business partnerships, in
addition to bringing captivating
entertainment shows to the Indian
diaspora worldwide. IIFA, he said,
“has put Tampa on the map for every
Indian. IIFA is not just about showcasing cinematic talent; it is also
about building bonds with our host
country, which will open up business
opportunities on both sides.”
For those who may have wondered why Tampa was chosen over
other American cities with larger
Indian communities—such as, for
example, New York or New Jersey
or Los Angeles—the word is that
the catalytic agent was Dr Kiran
Patel, a Tampa-based cardiologist and philanthropist. One of the
prime supporters of IIFA, Dr Patel
evidently desired that the event be
held in his home city. As he put it:
“We have waited for this moment for
a long time. I am happy to see Tampa
host such a mega Indian event
which is sure to foster business and
other partnerships between the two
democracies. In Tampa, the Indian
community is very cohesive, rather
more than in other places. That’s one
reason why we were able to persuade
the organisers. Although the number of
people of Indian origin living in Tampa
is relatively small, we are immersed in
mainstream business, philanthropy and
cultural activities and have the support
of the city government in a big way.”
8
TATA MOTORS IIFA AWARDS
Best Picture
Viacom 18 Motion Pictures & Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Direction
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Performance in a Leading Role (Male)
Farhan Akhtar
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Performance in a Leading Role (Female)
Deepika Padukone
Chennai Express
Performance in a Supporting Role (Male)
Aditya Roy Kapoor
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Performance in a Supporting Role (Female)
Divya Dutta
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Performance in a Comic Role
Arshad Warsi
Jolly LLB
Performance in a Negative Role
Rishi Kapoor
D-Day
Music Direction
Mithoon, Ankit Tiwari, Jeet Ganguly
Aashiqui 2
Best Story
Prasoon Joshi
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Lyrics
WinnerSongFilm
MithoonTum Hi Ho
Aashiqui 2
Playback Singer (Male)
WinnerSongFilm
Arijit Singh
Tum Hi Ho
Aashiqui 2
Playback Singer (Female)
WinnerSongFilm
Shreya Ghoshal
Sunn Raha Hai
Aashiqui 2
Best Debutant Male Winner
Dhanush
Film
Raanjhanaa
Best Debutant Female WinnerFilm
Vani KapoorShudh Desi Romance
Outstanding Contribution by an Indian in the US
Drs. Kiran & Pallavi Patel
Entertainer of the year
Deepika Padukone
Outstanding Contribution to International Cinema John Travolta
Lifetime Achievement Shatrughan Sinha
The weekend saw the hosting of
many events such as a global business
forum, the IIFA Stomp, a musical event
at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park,
an acting workshop by Anupam Kher,
fashion show by Bollywood designer
Manish Malhotra, a master-class by
Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey and,
16 June 2014 OUTLOOK
of course, the two main shows and the
after parties. Tampa played host not
only to celebrated stars of the Hindi
film industry and Hollywood guests,
but also to corporate honchos like
Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy,
dignitaries from India and the US, media contingents from around the world
Sonakshi Sinha performs
a lively number
and, not the least, thousands of fans of
Indian cinema.
The star-studded, action-packed
schedule saw the lively participation
of Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra,
Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh,
Sonakshi Sinha, Parineeti Chopra,
Saif Ali Khan and his begum Kareena,
Sameera Reddy, Siddharth Malhotra,
Shahid Kapoor, Farhan Akhtar, Vivek
Oberoi, Javed Akhtar and Shabana
Azmi, Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Anil Kapoor, Vir Das, Anupam Kher , Shankar
Mahadevan, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan,
and Boney Kapoor and wife Sridevi.
Then there were the Hollywood biggies
like John Travolta, Kevin Spacey and
Stephen Baldwin. Tampa dignitaries,
Mayor Buckhorn and Commissioner Al
10
Higginbotham and Florida Governor
Rick Scott were also seen enthusiastically participating in the festivities.
At the main awards ceremony on
April 26, billed as the Tata Motors
Magic of the Movies Awards Nite,
actors Shahid Kapoor and Farhan
Akthar played host for the second time;
the event also marked the launch of the
IIFA Coffee Table Book by Wizcraft
International Entertainment founderdirectors Andre Timmins, Sabbas
Joseph and Viraf Sarkari. Hollywood
actors too were swept up by the Bollywood frenzy: Kevin Spacey joined
Deepika for a rumbunctious rendition
of the Lungi Dance, while John Travolta
showed off some nifty moves to Tune
Maari Entriyaan along with Priyanka
16 June 2014 OUTLOOK
Chopra and Hrithik Roshan.
Later in the evening, Travolta
accepted an award for Outstanding
Contribution to International Cinema,
saying: “I’m honoured and humbled to
be put in this category. I believe that as
human beings, we are alike and this is
a medium to celebrate our similarities.
A heartfelt thank you to IIFA and the
Indian film community.”
The foot-tapping performance
line-up continued with Madhuri DixitNene’s rendition of Ek Do Teen, Piya
Ghar Aaya, Dhak Dhak Karne Laga,and
Dola Re Dola and energetic numbers
by Hrithik Roshan, Ranveer Singh and
Priyanka Chopra to their hit songs.
Just a day earlier, emcees Saif Ali
Khan and Vir Das had captivated audi-
15
th
June
Sun 8 pm
Kevin Spacey joins
Shahid Kapoor and
Deepika Padukone for
the Lungi Dance
ences with their rollicking humour as
they hosted the technical awards; that
evening kicked off with an enchanting
performance by Farhan Akhtar who
sang some of his hits: Dil Chahta Hai,
Senorita and Zinda. And the tempo
was kept up by Bipasha Basu who
entertained the audience on Lat Lag
Gayee, Hungama Ho Gaya, Baby Doll
and Lungi Dance, and Sonakshi Sinha
who danced to Har Kisi Ko Nahi Milta,
Party All Night, Sari Ke Fall Sa and
Gandi Baat. Kareena Kapoor Khan took
the stage for a special act as well on
Aayiye Meherban, Baho Me Chale Aao,
Babuji Dheere Chalna and Yeh Mera Dil.
And that was just the beginning. Ace
Sufi singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
stirred the audiences with his soulful
rendition. Singer Mika brought the
audience to their feet with Duma Dum
Mast Qalandar, Agal Bagal, Sawaan,
Subah Hone Na De. Pritam set the stage
ablaze along with the Nashville Bluegrass musicians, Adit Singh Sharma,
Papon and others. The technical
awards night also boasted extravagant
sets coupled with lasers, special effects,
lighting and acoustics to create a magnificent audio and visual impact.
For those who witnessed the IIFA
spectacle, its excitement and star
power, the extended weekend was a
fabulous ride they never wanted to end.
Meeting Hrithik Roshan in person after
a patient three-hour wait outside the
elevators at the Hilton was just magical,
said an ecstatic Charu Patel, who had
12
TATA MOTORS IIFA AWARDS (TECHNICAL CATEGORY)
category
winner
film
Cinematography
Binod Pradhan
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Screenplay
Prasoon Joshi
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Dialogue
Prasoon Joshi
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
EditingP.S. BhartiBhaag Milkha Bhaag
Production Design
Wasiq Khan
Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela
Choreography
Remo D’Souza
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
ActionSham Kaushal
& Tony Ching Krrish 3
Siu Tung
Sound Design
Nakul Kamte Song Recording
Vinod Verma for Lungi Dance
Sound Mixing
Anup Dev
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Chennai Express
Chennai Express
Debajit Changmai
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Background Score
ShankarBhaag Milkha Bhaag
Ehsaan-Loy
Special Effects
KeitanYadav
(Visuals)
& Haresh
Hingorani
Krrish 3
( Red Chillies
VFX)
Costume Designing
Dolly Ahluwalia
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
Make-Up
Vikram Gaikwad
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
travelled all the way from Los Angeles
to Tampa with a group of four friends
to celebrate her 50th birthday. As she
excitedly put it, “It is an amazing expe16 June 2014 OUTLOOK
rience. What a way to introduce India
and its culture to America! We just
can’t wait for it to happen again
and again.” l
style watch
GREEN
CARPET
GLAMOUR
16
iifa awards 2014
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flashback iifa
IIFA is born: Jackie
Shroff and Bo
Derek attend the
inaugural IIFA
Awards event at
the Millennium
Dome in London.
Indian and international stars
performed
Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif rock it at the IIFA
Awards event in Dubai in 2006
IIFA went East, to
Genting Highlands,
Malaysia, for its
third Awards
event. A star
karaoke night gave
it a quirky twist.
Here, Sushmita
Sen does a lively
number
2000
London,
UK
2001
Sun City,
S. Africa
Amitabh Bachchan
on stage in
Singapore in 2004.
In its fifth outing,
IIFA was already
getting bigger and
better
2002
2003
Genting,
Malaysia
Johannesburg,
S. Africa
2004
Singapore
The Awards
returned to South
Africa, this time
to Johannesburg.
Here, Dev
Anand receives
the Lifetime
Achievement
award from the
ever-enchanting
Rekha
At the second IIFA Awards outing, in Sun City,
South Africa, veteran star Shammi Kapoor is
honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award.
A spectacular performance by African Footprints
enlivened the show
00
18
Salman Khan and
Jean-Claude Van
Damme at the
IIFA Awards event
in Amsterdam in
2005
16 June 2014 OUTLOOK
2005
Amsterdam,
Netherlands
2006
Dubai,
UAE
In 2013, the Awards
event returned to
Macau. Here,
Jacqueline Fernandez
performs a
spectacular dance act
Shilpa Shetty
sizzles at the 8th
IIFA Awards event
in Yorkshire. The
three-day show
witnessed a cricket
match, a business
forum, a Bafta film
workshop and a
film festival
Katrina Kaif shakes
a shapely leg in
Bangkok. By 2008,
the popularity of
the IIFA Awards
event was soaring;
an estimated 600
million viewers
across the world
caught up with
all the glamour
and the glitz
Saif Ali Khan
shows off his
dance moves
at the 11th IIFA
Awards event in
Colombo
2007
2008
2009
2010
Yorkshire,
UK
Bangkok,
Thailand
Macau,
China
Colombo,
Sri Lanka
The IIFA Awards turned 10,
and toodled off to Macau to
celebrate. Here, comedian
Boman Irani has the crowds
rolling on the floor
IIFA forayed
onto the
American
continent for
the first time,
in Toronto,
Canada. Here,
Preity Zinta
on stage
2011
Toronto,
Canada
2012
2013
2014
Singapore
Macau,
China
Tampa Bay,
US
The IIFA Awards event
debuts in the US, with
arguably the biggest and
brightest show at Tampa
Bay, Florida. Here, Deepika
Padukone arrives for the
glamour show
Karan Johar hosts the show at the 13th outing,
which returned to Singapore
00
19
iifa awards 2014
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THE IIFA THEME:
ONE PEOPLE, ONE WORLD
Bollywood lit up Tampa Bay, Florida, in late April as IIFA unfurled its
Awards event in the US for the first time in 15 years. Andre Timmins, one of
the founder-directors of Wizcraft, the communications and entertainment
company that established the IIFA brand, talks about the brand
How was IIFA born?
In the1990s, we were already working on
film-based projects, premieres and awards
shows for media houses and we knew the
industry’s leaders pretty well. We then
thought of working on an event that would
connect Indians across the world, focussed
around cricket or cinema. These were
the two exciting areas in entertainment,
a big craze for the public, akin to religion.
Every country’s cricket team belongs to the
people and fans of that country, so much so
that the Indian in UK cheers for the English
cricket team. However, when it comes to
cinema, Indians across the world cheer for
Indian cinema, irrespective of which country they live in. The first IIFA held at the
Millennium Dome in London was a huge
success; with every passing year, the movement has grown from strength to strength.
What sets IIFA apart from the
other film awards?
The IIFA vision is unlike other film awards.
The belief in One People, One World sets
it apart. It uses cinema to open people’s
minds and build bridges. The IIFA Awards
are held as a highpoint of the IIFA Weekend which comprises events that engage
in the areas of education, business, culture,
community engagement and cinema.
Interestingly, in its 15-year history IIFA
has always been held at international locations outside India. Over the years, IIFA
has been hosted across 11 countries covering four continents.
It is the fans that engage with IIFA who
make it different by engaging themselves
with everything that is happening. And
this year’s IIFA Awards event was distinct
and special because it was being held in
America and had the US government and
20
Hollywood stars participating actively. The
American movie market is very mature, so
this was one of the best IIFA events.
How are the awards decided?
We have a unique decision process for
the IIFAs. The process, unlike other film
awards, involves the film industry voting for
its peers and also the fans who have a 50%
weightage in the final decision.
The entire process is managed and audited by a globally renowned audit company.
To facilitate the industry voting, we host
an IIFA voting weekend in February, where
around 2,000-3,000 IIFA members cast
their vote. The academy comprises producers, directors, actors, lyricists, writers,
music directors, singers, and technicians.
The results of the voting weekend provides
the nominations which are then put up for
global public voting.
How did you bring IIFA to Tampa Bay?
It was a 30-hour-long flight and a 15-year
journey to bring IIFA to America. Outside
of India, America is the second-largest
territory for Bollywood in terms of revenue.
We wanted to come to America when the
event was mature. We did consider other
cities, but Tampa stood out because of the
people that we were interacting with. With
Tampa, it was love at first sight.
Here, the local authorities and community gave us every assistance and were
determined to make it work. The Mayor’s
office, the Governor’s office, Visit Tampa
Bay Visitors and Convention Bureau, Visit
Florida and others went out of their way to
make sure we were comfortable, and facilitated the entire arrangement. Tampa won
over other bigger cities because it had the
infrastructure, and we found our interactions with the people very stimulating.
Through IIFA, our cinema has been
penetrating new territories. Wherever IIFA
has travelled, we have made a big impact for
our cinema and created a networking base.
With IIFA, we are constantly trying to grow
the footprint of Indian cinema all over the
world. That is our main purpose.
What was different or new this year?
We had the IIFA Stomp, which was a kickoff party to welcome the stars to Tampa. We
had a huge crowd of over 10,000 people; we
had Indian DJs playing Bollywood music at
the Central Park in Tampa and locals swaying to Hindi hits. It was a music festivalcum-mela with Indian food-stalls.
The next day we had a special event, IIFA
Rocks, which showcased costumes from
Bollywood movies; fashion designers Manish Malhotra, Amita Bal and Vikram Phadnis displayed their work and the Tampa
community put on “Tampa Bay Rocks”.
The FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum
featured top leaders from business and gov-
ernment including FICCI vice-president
Harshavardhan Neotia, India’s ConsulGeneral Ajit Kumar, US Assistant Secretary
of State Nisha Desai Biswal, Tata Motors
President Ranjit Yadav, Inter-governmental
Panel on Climate Change chairperson
Rajendra K. Pachauri, Syntel Chairman
Bharat Desai, UST Global CEO Sajan Pillai,
and L&T Infotech chief executive Mukesh
Aghi addressed the growing Indo-US
business relationship, and the challenges in
relations between the two nations, and the
steps business needs to take towards sustainability and to counter global warming.
How did the Business Expo go?
It was a huge success. This is the first time
we had a business expo and several companies, products and services participated. All
stalls were taken up, and we had over 2,500
people visiting everyday. It was an engaging
platform to experience the best products
and services from both countries; it demonstrated that IIFA can be an important
platform for business.
You have hosted IIFA in 15 countries.
How have host nations benefited?
The power of the IIFA platform is reinforced by the media reach as well as the
power of celebrity.
The visibility provided to the host city
and nation in value is upwards of $100m.
Literally, the city is introduced to the world.
Tourism revenues over the short term
(during the event) and the long term rise
significantly. In Tampa, the short-term
impact was around $20 million; the longterm impact, including the boost in tourism, the possibility of the area being used
as a locale for filming Indian films, other
Fans party at the
IIFA Stomp in Tampa Bay
business synergies, etc. will be experienced in the coming years and would lead
to larger gains.
What is the biggest challenge you face
in hosting IIFA?
The logistics of taking such a huge team and
all our star guests across the world.
the logistics could kill you.
We enjoyed huge support from the US
Embassy; they were incredibly cooperative and worked closely to facilitate
everything. The consulate opened its
offices even on holidays to help us. One
can’t say thank you enough. We could
not have done this otherwise.
Were there any special difficulties in
hosting IIFA in Tampa?
Only the logistics. The distance factor was
huge and the IIFA execution team is large.
The project engages with several celebrity guests; the arrangements needed for
both the celebrities and their respective
entourages are always tall. Visas for 2500
persons, flights to New York/ Chicago/
Orlando and then within the US to Tampa,
ground travel, etc…..just the numbers and
Will IIFA be hosted in America again?
This was just the prelude to seeing more of
IIFA in America. Certainly, we would welcome the opportunity. America is vast, and
there are many options to choose from. For
the next IIFA, we have several American
cities that have requested that they be put
in the considerations set.
We will soon take a decision on which
destination suits the interests of Indian
cinema the best. l
Outlook 16 June 2014
21
IIFA awards 2014
tampa bay
selfies with
the stars
Fans got up-close and personal with celebrities at the IIFA
event in Tampa Bay. The stars too were a camera-happy lot
22
16 June 2014 OUTLOOK
Outlook 16 June 2014
23
iifa awards 2014
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The Wizcraft Spell
The making of the IIFA brand
At the IIFA Awards show
T
he IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) brand
was crafted to promote
Indian cinema across the
globe, which objective it advances by
honouring achievements in the Indian
film world and talented international
movie stars as well. Andre Timmins,
Sabbas Joseph and Viraf Sarkari, the
three founders of Wizcraft, the communication and entertainment company that established the IIFA brand,
claim that the annual IIFA Awards
event binds Indians around the globe
and plays a vital role in opening up
minds and building bridges between
social and economic islands to create a
‘one world’ mindset.
24
IIFA’s journey began in 2000 at the
Millennium Dome in London. That
edition was kicked off by IIFA’s brand
ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, in
which capacity India’s tallest Bollywood star took the glamorous event to
many world cities. However, Bachchan
resigned in 2010 following a controversy over holding that year’s IIFA Awards
ceremony in Sri Lanka, given the fresh
allegations of human rights violations
that surfaced at that time. Upon which
the academy appointed actor Salman
Khan as brand ambassador.
Over the past 15 years, IIFA Awards
events have been hosted at numerous locales around the world. After
the kick-off in London, the roll-call of
16 June 2014 OUTLOOK
cities that have hosted the event makes
for a fascinating trot around the world:
Sun City, Johannesburg, Singapore,
Malaysia, Dubai, Amsterdam, Yorkshire, Toronto, Bangkok and Macau
and now Florida.
The idea of taking the IIFA Awards
events around the world and using it
as a platform to showcase Brand India
owes to the three founder-directors of
IIFA : Andre Timmins (who was once a
disc jockey), Viraf Sarkari (a hospitality professional) and Sabbas Joseph (a
media professional) .
To enhance the credibility of the
awards selection process, the three
‘Wizzes’ decided to keep the voting
process transparent. The selection
iifa awards 2014
tampa bay
Actor Kevin Spacey with Wizcraft founders
(from left) Viraf Sarkari, Andre Timmins and
Sabbas Joseph
methodology is overseen by the IIFA
management in conjunction with
the global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, with fans around
the world deciding the winners in an
online vote. There are two awards
categories: Popular and Technical
Awards, which are given away every
year at a four-day show. The awards
show and the attendant events are
a virtual carnival in their own right:
numerous parties and private events
are hosted, which are attended by a
galaxy of stars; movie premieres are
held, along with business pow-wows
and special events; press meetings too
are held for the media crews from all
over the world.
Cities that host the IIFA Awards
events too come out winners from the
experience. That’s because the event
showcases and introduces and/or
reinforces these destinations in the
minds of people of Indian origin all
over the world, and refreshes them
for fans of Hindi cinema, whatever
may be their nationality. Host cities
have reported a spike in inbound
tourist arrivals from people of
Indian origin in the months and
years following the events.
Cinema is, of course, all about
entertainment, and as Timmins
says, “At IIFA, fans can expect
magic.” And from all accounts,
IIFA has a growing dedicated fan
following. Says Timmins, “anybody
who comes to one IIFA event
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comes every year thereafter wherever
we are. That’s because this is the only
event where you can get up-close
with the stars. And, of course, you can
watch the stars perform in spectacular ticketed events. It’s all about the
excitement. It’s all about being there.
We are looking at 30,000 people
at the venue, 35,000 people
on the Green Carpet, which
is over two kilometres long.
Where else can you experience the magic of the movies
so intimately? The IIFA pull
is never going to wane as long as
there is Hindi cinema.”
Glowing with all the attention
that Tampa city had received
worldwide from the IIFA Awards
weekend, Santiago Corrada, CEO
and president of Visit Tampa Bay,
16 June 2014 OUTLOOK
the local tourism promotion body,
said: “IIFA has all along inspired trust
in the brand and in the excitement that
it brings. Now that it‘s all happening in
Tampa, they have proved it.”
Summing it all up, Joseph says: “IIFA
has come a long way from being just an
awards ceremony to being a reflection
of an India on the rise. From being
merely an entertainment platform,
IIFA is today recognised globally as
being an important platform for business. Florida is the start of yet another
successful IIFA story as it will unlock
many opportunities in many sectors
for both India as well as the US.
We are excited and confident that with
each year, IIFA will become grander,
more spectacular and memorable.
Through IIFA, we will put India on
the global stage.” l