IIFA Awards

Published On: 2012-04-22

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Hrithik Rules Awards

Hrithik wins two awards at IIFA 2007

Bollywood came to Britain this weekend as 12,000 people crammed into a stadium in northern England to see Hindi movie Rang De Basanti (Paint It Saffron) scoop nearly a dozen awards, including best picture.

The International Indian Film Awards (IIFA) awards, the Indian film industry's equivalent of the Oscars, were held in Sheffield this year as the academy moves around the world -- last year's were in Dubai -- to build international appeal.

Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and starring Aamir Khan, Rang De Basanti tells the story of a young London based film maker who chances upon the diaries of her grandfather who served in the British police force in India and draws parallels between 1930s India and the present day.

But the biggest cheers of an award show spanning more than six hours from Saturday night to early Sunday morning were reserved for Hrithik Roshan who won best actor for his role in Krrish -- billed as India's first superhero movie.

"May our children never be afraid to dream the impossible because ... someone like me could get this far," said Roshan, who also won the gong for the most glamorous male lead.

Bollywood is the name given to the popular Mumbai-based Hindi-language film industry in India and derives from Bombay, the former name for Mumbai, and Hollywood. Its films sell hundreds of millions of tickets every year.


The prize for best actress went to Rani Mukherji for her role in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kahna (Never Say Goodbye), in which a disgruntled former footballer is jealous of his wife's successful career as a fashion magazine editor.

Aishwarya Rai, a former Miss World, went off with the award for the most glamorous female lead.

Screen idol Dharmendra, a film-star-turned-politician who has starred in more than 200 Hindi films since the early 1960s, was lauded for outstanding contribution to Indian cinema and gave an emotional address.

"My wife has always described him as the perfect Greek god," said Bollywood superstar and elder statesman Amitabh Bachchan in tribute to Dharmendra. "He is the most wonderful friend and the most wonderful man you could ever come across."

Bachchan, who acts as an ambassador for IIFA, joined his son Abhishek on stage to dance to some of Bollywood's latest hits.

Starlet Shilpa Shetty, now as much of a household name in Britain as she is in Delhi after a racism row that engulfed her appearance on UK reality TV show Big Brother this year, sang a number from action thriller Dhoom 2.

"East or west, Yorkshire is best," she shouted out to loud applause.

IIFA was set up to promote Indian films to an international audience. Previous ceremonies have been held in the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and Singapore.