Come April, the Indian Film fraternity will take the United States by storm, as the 15th edition of the IIFA Weekend and Awards will play out from the 23rd to 26th in Tampa Bay, Florida. The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) held a press conference in Mumbai yesterday, attended by superstars Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar to tease us even more of what we can expect when IIFA hits the US!.
One of the biggest treats among the many is that Tampa Bay will see one of the best dancers in B-town show off his signature moves at the Tata Motors IIFA Awards this year. Yes, Hrithik Roshan will be lighting up the stage. Speaking about his performance, Hrithik said, “I have been a part of many IIFAs where I have performed at different locales. IIFA was in fact my first international performance and something I have always treasured. I am honoured to be a part of this major milestone in IIFA’s journey as they venture into the United States of America, showcasing our film industry in Tampa Bay this year.” Roshan has previously performed at IIFA in Sun City, Singapore and Colombo. This will be his first performance in the US in a decade.
This year, the Tata Motors IIFA Awards will see the reappearance of one of its best hosting duos, actors Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar. After their successful hosting stint in Singapore, the actors will reprise their roles this year. Speaking on hosting the Tata Motors IIFA Awards, actor Farhan Akhtar said, “IIFA’s exalted platform has always given me an adrenaline rush. Having received immense love and appreciation for my previous stint as host, I am excited at the prospects of hosting another year of the spectacular celebration.”
Playing host for the third year running, Actor, Shahid Kapoor added, “Hosting IIFA always makes me happy, as it as a chance to interact with the entire film fraternity that gathers together, IIFA is the most prestigious award ceremony which honors the best of our Industry.” He added, “I am extremely happy to host IIFA again. I had a great time hosting the show with Farhan. It takes a lot of effort to create such an event and I am looking forward to be part of this. And more than that I am excited to see Hrithik performing. He is the best dancer in the industry.”
Dance guru, Shiamak Davar will also be a part of IIFA this year as the event’s official choreographer. Renowned for some of the biggest dance performances including his highly acclaimed work on India’s first musical ‘Zangoora’, Tampa Bay will mark Shiamak’s 11th year with IIFA.
Speaking of dance, one of the coolest contests was a chance to dance with Ranveer Singh. Announcing the winners of the Zest for Stardom Contest, Ms. Delna Avari, Head-Marketing Communications, Passenger Vehicles, Tata Motors said, “Close on the heels of unveiling The ZEST, a true dynamic sedan, from Tata Motors that meshes killer instinct with elegance, we announced the ‘ZEST for Stardom’ on February 26, 2014, in association with IIFA. The response to this unique contest was overwhelming, with entries pouring from all over the globe, including USA. Owing to the phenomenal response we have received, it is our pleasure to announce that there will be not one but three winners, two winners from India and one from USA. We are delighted to announce that Mr. Himanshu Singh and Ms. Pallavi Kalra –from India and Mr. Mohit Batra, from USA are the lucky winners of the Zest for Stardom contest who have been bestowed with a golden opportunity to share the Tata Motors IIFA Stage with actor, Ranveer Singh.”
Going beyond entertainment, IIFA has long been committed to building bridges between India and the global arena as it strides across the world. With the trade relationship between the U.S. and India at its peak, the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum creates a perfect opportunity for exchange. This forum will bring together business leaders from India and America to explore new economic opportunities, providing a platform for Indians and Americans to engage in discussion and professional development. Hosted by the University of South Florida College of Business, the forum will be a two-day event on the theme – “Indo-U.S. Partnership: A Catalyst for Economic Growth”. Eminent speakers of the event include Rick Scott- Governor of Florida, Bob Buckhorn, Mayor – Tampa City, Vivek Lall- President & CEO, Reliance Industries Ltd, N.R Narayana Murthy Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Infosys, Dr. R. K Pachauri- TERI Chairman and Chairman United Nations Panel on Climate Change among others.
Sabbas Joseph, Director – Wizcraft International and IIFA said “Year after year IIFA has played out at various spectacular locations world over, committing itself to the cause of making Indian cinema global. Loyal to the very cause, IIFA has always lined-up an array of distinguished events which connect India to a global audience. We are confident that events like the IIFA Expo, FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum and various others will prove to be the perfect bridge between India and the U.S.”
Another IIFA initiative, the IIFA Expo is a world fair to be held at the Tampa Convention Center, Florida from 24th to 26th April 2014. Bringing business, products and services from India and USA under one roof, the expo will provide a unique platform to unlock opportunities for businesses and communities, thereby promoting trade and commerce between two countries and cultures.
The Videocon D2H IIFA Weekend is presented by Videocon D2H and the Tata Motors IIFA Awards is presented by Tata Motors and powered by Lava Mobiles. The IIFA Weekend & Awards will be broadcast globally on Star Plus, for the 10th year running. Visit Tampa Bay is the Official Destination Partner for the IIFA Weekend and Awards 2014 and Visit Florida, a key partner. Freedom Health Insurance are co-presenting sponsors for the IIFA Celebrations, Tampa Electric Company (TECO), a sponsor of the unique community event of IIFA Stomp and Mosaic, a sponsor of FICCI – IIFA Global Business Forum. Vishal Sarees is an associate partner of IIFA and Jammu & Kashmir Tourism, a partner.