Bachchan to announce IIFA Weekend at House of Commons

MUMBAI: On Wednesday 8 November, the House of Commons will play host to the official announcement of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and the IDEA IIFA Awards in Yorkshire in June 2007.

IIFA's Brand Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan will be speaking at the reception alongside dignitaries, including Secretary of State, Tessa Jowell, Leader of the House, Jack Straw, and the High Commissioner of India to the UK, Kamlesh Sharma, to celebrate the return of the IIFA Weekend to the UK, informs an official release.

As the leading location for investment in Europe, dignitaries will be speaking about the economic benefit for both national and regional business partnerships with India. One of the key members of the Indian delegation is Sanjeev Aga, president of Birla Nuevo, one of India's leading investors in Britain. Additionally, Judith Donovan, chairperson for the Yorkshire Tourism Board and Tom Riordan from Yorkshire Forward will be announcing details of IIFA Weekend and the anticipated impact for Yorkshire business and tourism, the release adds.

Speaking about the launch of the Idea IIFA Awards, Idea Cellular MD Sanjeev Aga says, "After the phenomenal success of the Idea IIFA Awards in Dubai, Idea is eagerly looking forward to the Idea IIFA Awards in Yorkshire. IIFA offers us the best platform to demonstrate the true essence of mobile and entertainment convergence. With IDEA IIFA, our privileged customer will have access to specially created merchandise, contests, video and MMS downloads and several other value added services. Only Idea can and will take you there."

Bachchan, who was voted BBC's Superstar of the Millennium in 2000 pushing behind Hollywood's biggest stars and heartthrobs, will focus on the rising popularity of Indian cinema as a major global business, with an estimated global audience for the IIFA Awards in 2007 of over 480 million.

Now in its eighth year, the IIFA Weekend has previously visited Amsterdam, Dubai, Singapore, London, Malaysia and South Africa. As a direct consequence of the IIFA celebrations, tourism and business investment to each of these destinations has increased tremendously, making a major impact. Yorkshire was successful in its bid to attract the event organizers attention and the bid presentation was supported by prime minister Tony Blair.

The House of Commons launch event will be followed by a five-city launch the next day in the company of the Mayors of York, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford, who will flag off the IIFA Weekend announcement along with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. The five-city launch will be held at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television (NMPFT), Bradford.

Previous IIFA Weekend events have hosted popular celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Shekhar Kapur, Ashok Amritraj, Jean Claude Van Damme, Bo Derek, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan and others. IIFA Weekend celebrations, which were launched at the Millennium Dome in 2000, have travelled across South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Amsterdam and Dubai. IIFA Weekend Yorkshire marks the return of the celebration which has already become one of the world's most-watched and sought after event.

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