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It was `Lagaan' all the way at the IIFA awards nite

By S.R. Ashok Kumar

Kuala Lumpur April 6. It was `Lagaan' all the way at the International Indian Film Acedemy (IIFA) awards nite here today. The film might have missed it at the Oscars, but it got its due at the Electrolux Kelvinator IIFA awards at the Genting Highlands, Malaysia. `Lagaan' swept nine awards — best picture, best director, best actor, music director, female singer, sound recording, story, lyrics and editing.

The IIFA awards were given to 13 popular and 14 technical personalities of the Indian film industry. Earlier, the Malaysian Minister for culture, Art and Tourism, Dathu Paduka Haji Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir welcomed the gathering and spoke about the long friendship between his country and India. The Chief Patron of IIFA, Amitabh Bachchan, said he was floored by the hospitality and ever-loving fans of Malaysia. He would request the IIFA board to conduct next year's award function also at Malaysia. The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Chhagan Bhujbal, gave away a big bat to the crew of `Lagaan' for making India proud at the Oscars.

The best director award was bagged by Ashutosh Gowarikar and the best actor award by Aamir Khan for `Lagaan'. The best actress award went to Tabu for her role in `Chandini Bar'.

The best lyric award was given to Javed Akthar for `Lagaan'. Asha Bhosle got the award for best female singer for the same film. The best male singer award went to Sonu Nigam (Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham). The best comic role award was bagged by Govinda (Jodi No1). The best negative role in a film went to Akshay Kumar (Ajnabee) and the best story-writer award was given to Ashutosh Gowarikar (Lagaan). Jaya Bachchan got the best supporting role award for the film `Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham'. A.R. Rehman was chosen for the best music director award (Lagaan).

The technical awards are sound recording (sound track) — H. Sridhar (Lagaan), background score — Babloo Chakravarthy (Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham), sound recording — Anil Mathur and Nakul Kamte (Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham), art direction — Sharmista Roy (Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham), dialogue — Karan Johar (Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham) and Shakthiman(Gadhar — Ek Prem Katha),

Costume — Manish Malhotra (Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham), Make-up — Mickey Contractor (Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham), screenplay — Farhan Akthar (Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham), choreography — Farah Khan (Dil Chahta Hai), editing — Bhallu Saluja (Lagaan), special effects — Paul Sims (AKS — The reflection), cinematography — Santhosh Sivan (Ashoka).

The life-time achievement award was presnted to two veterans of the Indian cinema — Sadhana and Yash Chopra. Amitabh Bachchan was honoured with the best personality of the year award. The international achievement award went to Mira Nair of `Monsoon Wedding' fame.

The function was a star-studded event at the Arena of Stars. Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Jackie Shrof, Sushmita Sen, Puja Bhatra, Isha Gopikar and Remo Fernandes were among those who graced the occasion.

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