MUMBAI: As we draw closer to the 15th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend & Awards in Tampa Bay, Florida, the Academy held a press conference on the lawns of the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, today. Friends of IIFA, members from the film fraternity were present today along with U.S. Ambassador Peter Haas, and the Tampa Bay delegation to show their support for the upcoming celebrations in the United States of America. The 15th Videocon D2H IIFA Weekend and the Tata Motors IIFA Awards will be held from the 23rd – 26th of April.
Actors Anil Kapoor, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Bipasha Basu and music director Pritam were on hand to announce the details of the Videocon D2H IIFA Weekend. Leading the delegation from Tampa were Mayor of Tampa Bay – Bob Buckhorn, Hillsborough County Commissioner - Al Higginbotham and Santiago Corrada, President and Chief Executive Officer of Visit Tampa Bay and the IIFA hosts from Tampa Bay, Dr. Kiran Patel and Dr. (Mrs.) Pallavi Patel.
Peter Haas, U.S. Consul General in Mumbai said, “I’m excited by IIFA’s decision to hold this year’s awards ceremony in Tampa, Florida. Bollywood fans across the United States will be thrilled that India’s biggest film stars are coming. We look forward to other Indian companies choosing the United States as their travel destination and stand ready to assist.”
The 15th edition of the Videocon D2H IIFA Weekend in April 2014 is set to include multiple star-studded events including the IIFA Rocks (a fashion and music spectacular), the IIFA Magic of the Movies & Technical Awards, and the crown jewel Tata Motors IIFA Awards.
The Tata Motors IIFA Awards will be hosted by Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar. The first set of star performers at the Videocon D2H IIFA Weekend include Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Ranveer Singh, Sonakshi Sinha, Bipasha Basu, Pritam and Vir Das among others. The performances would be choreographed by the internationally-renowned Shiamak Davar. More stars would be announced in the next few weeks.
The sale of tickets for the Tata Motors IIFA Awards has been brisk with more than 15000 tickets being already sold without any announcement of performing stars. The response from the audience is phenomenal and the Indian contingent is looking forward to the first-ever IIFA Celebrations in America.
Business events include the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum which focuses on business opportunities across the two geographies, the Global Leadership Honours and a Media and Entertainment Strategy Summit led by Ernst & Young and FICCI's Entertainment division.
The FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum will take place over two days (24th & 25th April) at the Tampa Convention Center. Hosted by the University of South Florida College of Business, the business forum will be addressed by several leading visionaries and business leaders including Indian IT visionary, founder and Executive Chairman of Infosys, Mr. Narayan Murthy and FICCI President Siddharth Birla. The business forum’s verticals will focus on renewable energy, pharma, healthcare & life sciences, tourism, IT and cyber security, infrastructure, education and higher education.
For the first time this year, the IIFA EXPO comprising a B2C showcase of businesses from India and US would be on view. The focus areas are property, wellness and tranquility, jewelry, banking, tourism, bridal wear, clothing, handicrafts and artifacts.
Additional unique events include an IIFA Masterclass with an international actor and IIFA Stomp which is a celebration by the Tampa Bay community to welcome IIFA on April 23rd - a unique celebration of Indian music, dance and cuisine in the Curtis Hixon Waterfont Park in Tampa. This open for general public event, will feature popular DJs led by Ravi Drums and Akbar Sami.
Long time friend & supporter of IIFA, International Actor, Anil Kapoor said “There is nothing as unique as Bollywood, and Tampa is in for a treat this year! The IIFAs are a great platform for us to showcase our work to the world. This April, IIFA will bring the magic of Indian Cinema to America.”
Speaking on her years in the US, Madhuri Dixit Nene said, “Very few know that I lived in Florida for a while. I have been to Tampa Bay and I can tell you honestly it is a beautiful city and the people there are warm and welcoming. Thank you for hosting us. We are gonna rock.”
Saif Ali Khan commented saying, “It’s always amazing to give our Indian and international audience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness one of the finest celebrations of Indian culture and cinema. IIFA is really going to rock this year!”
Mr. Ranjit Yadav, President, Passenger Vehicles, Tata Motors said, “After an exciting debut last year, Tata Motors is again joining hands with IIFA to delight their global audiences. With our newly showcased, next-generation cars - the Zest and the Bolt, at the recent Auto Expo 2014, we also have some new emerging superstars to add to the excitement. Engineered for global markets, through global teams across India, UK and Korea, these cars will set new standards in their respective segments just like the IIFA Awards. These cars are a true representation of our Horizonext philosophy, with best-in-class offerings and will showcase the Next in Design, Performance and Infotainment. We will bring many more such exciting best-in-class offerings and we hope to receive your support in our journey, in the Future".
Kareena Kapoor Khan said, “There is a great pride when representing your country and the Indian film industry, and IIFA makes that possible for all us. I am excited to reach out to our fans and Indian Cinema aficionados in the USA and across the world. I’m sure IIFA 2014 is going to be a phenomenal success as it ventures into USA.”
Mr. Sabbas Joseph, Director, Wizcraft International & IIFA said, “In our 15th year, IIFA continues to build bridges through cinema across communities throughout the world. We are determined to bring the magic and magnitude of Indian culture as Tampa Bay is set to witness the spectacle that is Indian cinema, when IIFA comes to the US, this April.”
Bipasha Basu said, “Over the years, I have been privileged to have been a part of and performed at several IIFAs and have watched them grow from strength to strength. It is commendable that IIFA continues to be a magnificent celebration of Indian Cinema and IIFA’s efforts to promote Indian Cinema on a global scale are really praiseworthy. As an ambassador of Cinema, I whole-heartedly support this noble endeavor and will continue to do so. It would be fun to be in North America this year, because with a huge number of Bollywood fans in the country, it will only be a remarkable celebration."
At the onset of IIFA 2014, Videocon announced the launch of Videocon 4K 4 IIFA Facebook contest where the users can participate, play and win a chance to experience IIFA in Tampa Bay, US. Mr. Anirudh Dhoot – Director, Videocon Group stated, “In our 6th year of successful association, Videocon d2h along with IIFA, shares a similar outlook of promoting excellence in entertainment. The focus of both IIFA and Videocon d2h is adding variety and value in its entertainment quotient. Videocon d2h which is now Asia’s Most Promising DTH brand strives to provide the best viewing experience in Asli HD through its DTH services and now reaches more than 10 million homes. We provide a very good platform for IIFA as well to reach out to this discerning audience.”
Gaurav Banerjee, General Manager, Star Plus said, “We are proud to partner Wizcraft for over the last ten years in the biggest celebration of Indian Cinema with the IIFA weekend. This year with Tampa Bay as the host, a fantastic line up of talent and support from the industry, we promise to create a blockbuster evening reaching IIFA to millions of households worldwide through Star Plus.”
Having travelled to some phenomenal destinations across the globe over the last 15 years, IIFA has graced the shores of the UK, Europe, Middle East, South East Asia, South Africa, Sri Lanka Amsterdam and Canada. Fans and enthusiasts of Indian Cinema from around the world can expect to see their favorite stars descend into Tampa, Florida during the weekend and witness Indian Cinema's most glorious event unfold for the first time in America. With world-class infrastructure and facilities and having hosted a myriad of international concerts, events and the Super Bowl four times, Tampa Bay is the ideal choice for the 15th IIFA celebrations.
The Videocon D2H IIFA Weekend is presented by Videocon D2H and the Tata Motors IIFA Awards is presented by Tata Motors. The IIFA Weekend &Awards will be broadcast globally on Star Plus, for the 10th year running.