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Rare opportunity for Malaysian fans


The Bardot band added colour to the IIFA ceremony...

POMP AND glitter marked the International Indian Film Awards (IIFA) ceremony held recently at Genting Highands, Malaysia. It was a star-spangled affair giving the fans in Malaysia an opportunity to have a glimpse of their favourite matinee idols. The IIFA awards are determined by vote. The nominations were gathered from industry professionals who cast their vote for 13 popular and 14 technical awards. These votes were then collated and summarised by Pricewaterhousecoopers, auditors who, incidentally, are also the auditors for Oscars. These nominations are open on a website wherein people can vote for their stars also.

The IIFA logo and trophy are based on the sun, two rays of which symbolise Indian and world cinema. The trophy has nine rays that signify the navarasas or nine emotions. The trophy is made of pure brass plated in gold. The IIFA advisory board has some of the eminent personalities of the Indian film industry. They are Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Yash Johar, Pahalaj Nihlani, Vinod Khanna, J. P. Dutta and David Dhawan. Most of them had converged at Genting Highlands to make the function a grand success.

Amitabh Bachchan, chief patron of IIFA, was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of the Malaysian people so much so that he wanted the next year function to be held at the same venue. Genting Highlands is 6,000 feet above the sea level. A dream project by Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong, it is 51 km from Kuala Lumpur. It has six hotels which can accommodate nearly 12,000 people at any time. The Electrolux Kelvinator International Indian Film Academy awards 2002 was held at the `Arena of Stars'. The auditorium, which can accommodate 6,000 viewers and furnished with state-of-the-art audio and light equipment, is ideal for international concerts and events. The Malaysian Minister for Culture Art and Tourism, Dathu Paduka Haji Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzi, welcomed the gathering and the Chief Patron of the IIFA awards, Amitabh Bachchan, spoke about the friendship between India and Malaysia.

Sushmita Sen danced for the song ``Diamonds are a girl's best friend'' from ``Moulin Rouge." The dance was choreographed by Shiamak Davar. The performance failed to impress the audience inspite of the spectacular costumes, stage effects and the presence of 32 dancers. It is not often that one has the opportunity to see Amitabh dance on stage these days. At Genting Highlands he danced for a song on the lines of his recent hit film ``Aankhen'' along with Remo Fernandus, popular pop singer.

Leading international band, `Bardot' which consists of four beautiful girls presented two numbers. The highlight, however, was the colourful traditional dance done by the Malaysian troupe. The mahurat for ``Plan'' directed by Hriday Shetty was held with Sanjay Dutt, Sanjay Suri, Dino Morea and Bikram Saluja participating. Isha Koppikar, star of Tamil and Hindi films latest being Ram Gopal Verma's ``Company'', gave a good performance of the current chart-topper ``Khalaas''.

``Lagaan'' walked away with nine awards — for the best picture, director, actor, music director, female singer, sound recording, story, lyrics and editing. The Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Chhagan Bhujbal, gave away a big bat to the crew of Sonu Nigam (``Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham") was adjudged best male playback singer. Govinda bagged the best comic role award for ``Jodi No.1." Akshay Kumar got the award for the best negative role in ``Ajnabee'', while Jaya Bachchan got the best supporting actress award for acting in the film ``Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham''.

The lifetime achievement award was conferred on veterans Sadhana and Yash Chopra. Amitabh Bachchan was honoured with the best personality of the year award. Mira Nair got the international achievement award.

Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Jackie Shroff, Pooja Bhatra were among those who graced the occasion. The awards on the technical front were: sound-recording (sound track) H. Sridhar, editing - Bhallu Saluja (both for ``Lagaan''). Background score - Babloo Chakravarthy, sound recording - Anil Mathur and Nakul Kante, art direction Sharmista Roy, dialogue-Karan Johar, costume-Manish Malhotra, make-up - Mikey Contractor, screenplay - Farhan Akthar (all for ``Kabhi Kushi Kabhi Gham'').

Choreography-Farah Khan (``Dil Chahta Hai"), special effects- Paul Sims (``Aks - The Reflections"), cinematography - Santhosh Sivan (``Asoka").

S. R. ASHOK KUMAR

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