Having celebrated Indian Film fraternity’s success by hosting the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards in locations like Britain, Europe, Middle-East, Sri Lanka etc in the past, IIFA makes its North American debut in Ontario, Canada this year. The three-day long IIFA Weekend and Awards extravaganza is set to take place from the 23rd to 25th of June in Toronto.
However, in the wake of this pleasant news, comes a very disturbing piece of information, that of the split of Amitabh Bachchan and IIFA. Amitabh who is synonymous with IIFA for the past decade and has been the brand ambassador since its inception in 2000, has apparently had a fallout with the organizers. Upon being prompted about his presence in Canada this year by fans on a networking site, Mr. Bachchan tweeted ‘Not coming to Toronto IIFA .. IIFA says my services are not required ..’. In another similar response to a fan, Mr. Bachchan replied, ‘it’s the organizers of IIFA that do not want me in Toronto.. SriLanka was the same ..’ referring back to the incident last year, where in the wake of protests by Tamil Sri-Lankans, the Bachchan family did not attend the awards in Colombo.
In response, in a recent interview, Sabbas Joseph – Director Wizcraft (organizing company), insists there is no brand ambassadorship for IIFA from now on. “Last year at Sri Lanka, Salman represented the ‘Habitat For Harmony’, not IIFA. That’s the kind of pocket-representation we are looking at now at IIFA. We would not even have announced that Mr. Bachchan is no more the brand ambassador if he had not tweeted about it. To us it makes no difference whether he is the official brand ambassador or not. Our relationship with Mr. Bachchan and his family remains unchanged. No one can deny what an important part he has played in giving a shape and direction to the event.”
At a recent unveiling of a magazine, when Abhishek and Aishwarya were posed with similar questions of attending IIFA considering Senior Bachchan’s disassociation, they replied that they would attend if their work schedules permitted. Aishwarya was quick to dismiss rumors of her absence from the awards stating that she is committed to performing that night on stage and everyone will be able to see it once it airs.
We will be covering the event so stay tuned for all the news!