It’s IIFA weekend in Macau and the stars have come out. The event will reach its peak on Saturday with a gala event at the Venetian casino resort, the largest building in Asia and modeled on its sister resort in Las Vegas. Indeed, it is owned by the same company and boasts the largest casino in the world with 800 gaming tables and an astonishing 3400 slot machines. The IIFA event will be very welcome at the resort in what is proving to be a difficult year due to the economic downturn. However, the long-term prospects for Macau are excellent as the Cotai strip develops into the Las Vegas for China.
The IIFA Awards event will bring 8000 guests to Macau and is expected to be watched by an astonishing 500 million people in over 100 countries. The Indian invasion will be led by the Bachchan dynasty — Amitabh, Jaya, Abhishek and Aishwarya — Abhi and Aish have been nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress Awards and Big B is acting as the brand ambassador for the event. “It is going to be great, fantastic and we are looking forward to bringing Bollywood magic here,” said Abhishek. Aishwarya will also be performing at the Awards Ceremony Extravaganza and people will also be looking out for Shahana Goswami’s glamourous new look at the event.
Anil and Sonam Kapoor have also arrived along with Govinda, Sushmita Sen, Arjun Rampal and Lara Dutta. Lara will be hosting the Awards Ceremony along with Ritesh Deshmukh and Boman Irani. Ritesh and Govinda will also be performing at the Extravaganza to promote David Dhawan’s new film Do Knot Disturb and Jacky Bhagnani about to make his debut with Kal Kisne Dekha will also be there.
Anglo-Australian celebrity Peter Andre will be making his Bollywood debut, performing at the Extravaganza and has made it clear he would welcome the chance to appear in a Bollywood movie as he loves Indian music. “I am here in Macau for two-three days, let’s see. I will meet people and get to know a lot more names from the industry, so something might just take shape,” he said.
The IIFA Fashion Extravaganza on June 12th will see Hrithik and Suzanne Roshan doing la pasarela for sister-in-law Farah Khan. Hosted by Zayed Khan and Sophie Chaudhary, Sonam Kapoor is expected to be the showstopper in a creation by Anamika. Amrita Rao and Arshad Warsi will also be walking the ramp to promote their new film Shortkut.
Big B is taking the opportunity as brand ambassador to launch a book on Bollywood movie posters since the 1930s, a topic of great interest to him. It has taken 15 years to gather the materials together which includes posters and anecdotes about the stars of the industry.
IIFA director Viraf Sarkari says, “We are really glad to be hosting the event in China this year, as we think that both Indian and Chinese films have a very big global market, but it is not purely about films, it is also about business networking and cross-cultural exchange. It is like a combination of Cannes and the Oscars.” Bollywood certainly needs to raise its profile at the moment with ticket sales down 30% on last year due to an unappreciated catalogue of releases in the first few months of the year and then the damaging producer-multiplex strike. The IIFA event is the ideal opportunity to relaunch the industry to a worldwide audience.