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June 27, 2000
'I am not very expensive'
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s blockbuster Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam stormed the show and won 10 awards at the first-ever International Indian Film Awards ceremony held at London’s Millennium Dome.
Hum Dil De... claimed several top prizes including the Best Actress Award for Bollywood leading lady Aishwarya Rai and the Best Director Award which went to Bhansali.
Subhash Ghai’s Taal, which won five top awards, was the evening’s other big winner.
Sanjay Dutt took home the Best Actor Award for his role in Vaastav, a film about the underworld.
The three hour, strobe-lit ceremony in the Millennium Dome’s giant Skyscape Auditorium was kicked off by superstar Amitabh Bachchan and compered by Miss World Yukta Mookhey and actor Anupam Kher. The show's organisers hope to turn it into the Indian equivalent of the Oscars.
Action man Jackie Chan, who was the biggest favourite of the evening, bounded onto the stage to collect a special award for Excellence In International Cinema. Chan, wearing a white suit and followed by multi-coloured Chinese dragons, said he was eager to star in a Bollywood movie to cheers of approval from the nearly 3,000-member audience.
“There are a lot of producers and directors here tonight. Invite me to be in an Indian film. I am not only good for comedy, action and stunts. I am a very good singer and I am not very expensive.”
Another winner was Amitabh Bachchan, who topped an Internet poll conducted by Madame Tussaud’s Waxworks Museum in London. The superstar will be the first Bollywood actor to be immortalised in wax at the museum. He beat four other top stars who had also been nominated, including Raj Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai.
The show got off to a flat start because many prize-winners hadn’t made the long journey to London for the show. Several big winners, including Aishwarya Rai and Anil Kapoor (Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor In A Comic Role for performances in Taal and Biwi No 1 respectively), were missing.
Naseeruddin Shah won an award for the Best Actor In A Negative Role for his role in Sarfarosh. Shah Rukh Khan picked up a special award as the most popular star of the last five years.
Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam's list of coveted awards included Best Picture, Best Story, Best Screenplay and Best Playback Singer. Its director, Bhansali, took his mother on stage to pick up the Best Director Award and recalled how, when he was a poverty-stricken youngster, he had walked door to door with his mother, selling soap. “To have made this walk here, I think we have done well.”
A sprinkling of other Hollywood stars were also in attendance, including Oscar winner Angelina Jolie, Susannah York, Miranda Richardson and singer-actress Kylie Minougue, who performed a fast-moving number with a troupe of dancers.
A special award for Outstanding Achievement In International Cinema went to director Shekhar Kapur. Said Kapur: “I spent 15 years of my career trying to convince people that Indian cinema is relevant. I am so proud of Indian cinema and I am so proud of my Indian roots. When I made Elizabeth, an American critic said it was just an extension of Bollywood. I thought that was the best compliment I could ever be paid."
Veteran music star Lata Mangeshkar, who has sung more than 50,000 songs during her 50 year career, also received a special award. Another veteran, Sunil Dutt, received an award for his Invaluable Contribution To Indian Cinema.
Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen won the Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in Biwi No 1. Sen was also nominated for Sirf Tum.
The Best Music Director award went to the highly acclaimed A R Rahman for Taal.
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