Aamir Khan's debut production, Lagaan, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, has traversed the the sands of Bhuj to the Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles, for the 74th Annual Academy Awards.

The film premiered last year at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards last year at Sun City, South Africa. This year, IIFA Awards sees the premier of Vipul Shah's Aankhen.

The Awards were launched at London's Millennium Dome in 2000, to provide Indian cinema an international platform. Now in its third year, the Electrolux Kelvinator IIFA Awards (to be held on April 6 at Genting Highlands Resorts, Malaysia), sees members of the industry looking forward to the awards.

Here's why:


Amitabh Bachchan
Actor, IIFA Ambassador

It is high time that India, which produces the largest number of films in the world, merits its share of global recognition. That is exactly what IIFA has been doing for the last two years. Since this event is being hosted in a foreign country, IIFA hoists the Indian flag and leaves an indelible impression in the minds of the local audiences as well as millions of viewers worldwide watching the telecast on television.

Aamir Khan, who attracted the international media with his Oscar-nominated Lagaan, first experienced global attention when his film premiered at the IIFA at Sun City last year.

In its third year, IIFA is poised as a revolutionary catalyst in catapulting Hindi cinema into the international orbit. Besides the excellent event management technology, the IIFA Awards also command absolute credibility for its judging process, which is done in total secrecy. It is meticulously monitored and audited by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the same organisation that handles and audits the judging process of the Oscar Awards since 1935.


Pahlaj Nihalani
Producer and President of AMPTPP (Association of Motion Pictures and Television Programme Producers)

The IIFA Awards play a phenomenal role in fetching international recognition to Indian cinema. For me, the IIFA annual overseas felicitation is a welcome addition to our showbiz industry, simply because it is an ideal opportunity for Indian cinema to draw global attention and open up new avenues for overseas marketing and distribution of films.

We need an organised institution like IIFA to promote Hindi films in foreign countries. They are doing an excellent job.


Rakesh Roshan
Producer and director

I share sentiments with the IIFA, because I had the privilege to formally announce my next film (Koi Mil Gaya) on an international platform. This was at the Sun City last year, in the midst of the awards ceremony.

The IIFA felicitation was very fruitful and effective. I was very impressed by the meticulous organising skills of both the IIFA teams -- at London and Sun City -- in bringing about an awareness of Hindi films to foreign audiences.

The IIFA Awards are a great thing to happen to the film industry, which rarely gets its due share of limelight in the international media.


Bipasha Basu

I play a guest appearance in Vipul Shah's Aankhen, but I was very excited to learn that the film will have its international premiere at the IIFA Awards in Malaysia. It will be a heady mix of glamour, glitz and glitter all vying for global glory.

I am definitely looking forward to being part of the spectacular chain of events over the weekend.


Ramesh Sippy
Producer and director

For me, the IIFA Awards are very significant because they are the first of its kind.

Conforming to international standards in terms of showmanship, the IIFA happens to be the only Indian film awards, which takes place every year in foreign countries. Not only does it bring the global Asian and particularly the Indian community together, but also draws the focus of the foreign media to talented Hindi filmmakers.

Yet another glorious aspect of the IIFA Awards is that it recognises filmmakers of Indian origin who are making waves in Hollywood like Shekar Kapur (Elizabeth) and Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding).


Ritesh Deshmukh
Son of the Chief Minister of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh, who debuts in Mukesh Bhatt's Tumko Meri Kasam

This is a great attempt on the part of IIFA to promote Indian films in other parts of the world. NRIs (Non-resident Indians) and Asians belonging to the new generation can personally relate to their favourite filmstar, as they watch the impressive IIFA event 'live' in their own country.

It's an excellent opportunity for the 'fusion' of international cultures and a global get-together for the showbiz fraternity.


Gaurang Doshi

The IIFA has honoured me by selecting my film Aankhen to be premiered at Genting Highlands, Malaysia.

The star-studded IIFA event will fetch worldwide exposure and media attention. The pre-release media hype will help my film generate a fabulous initial audience draw. We have devised maximum audience involvement by way of innovative computer games based on the 'dangerous game' theme of the bank-robbery that takes place in Aankhen.

I am sure that like Lagaan, which was premiered at the IIFA event at Sun City last year, Aankhen will also merit international acclaim as a 'path-breaking' film.


Manish Malhotra
Fashion designer

Winning a coveted award at the prestigious IIFA for Best Costumes for Karan Johar's directorial debut Kuch Kuch Hota Hai gave me a terrific high.

The IIFA guys have a class of their own in terms of slick showmanship. This time, too, I hope I figure in the nominations and bag an award.



Shilpa Shetty

I hope I can attend the awards function this year.

Last year, I was nominated for my role in Dharmesh Darshan's Dhadkan. But I was unable to attend, as I was shooting at the time. From what I have heard, the IIFA event is a visual extravaganza of glamour and glitter amidst the suspense of who will win the honours.

It is possibly the best boost for the Hindi film industry on an international footing.



Anil Kapoor

Unfortunately, I have never had the opportunity to attend any of the IIFA award ceremonies. But I'm positive that it is one of those 'happening' showbiz events. It is a celebration of Indian Cinema across the globe.

It is a possibility that I will host the event this year. In that case, it will be something I will definitely look forward to.



Text: India News Features Service
Design: Uday Kuckian

Tell us what you think of this list