New Delhi, April 12 (IANS) The organisers of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards are readying a “big blockbuster” for the gala’s 18th edition to be hosted in New York this July.
This is the first time that the event will be held in New York — described as the city that never sleeps. But the IIFA magic was first brought to Tampa Bay in the US in 2014.
The event — the biggest Bollywood celebration internationally — will be held on July 14-15 at the iconic MetLife Stadium, known for hosting National Football League games, major concerts and other entertainment events.
On the first day will be the IIFA Weekend press conference and IIFA Rocks, followed by the glitzy IIFA Awards on day two.
Andre Timmins, Director, Wizcraft International, which produces and organises the annual jamboree, told IANS over phone from Mumbai: “It has been a big decision to take IIFA to New York. We have been working towards this for the last six months. It is extremely exciting from IIFA’s perspective as we now want to change the game. We are looking to have a big blockbuster in America.”
The bidders for 2017’s show included Lisbon, Paris, Switzerland and several places in the Far East.
But “New York is New York”, Timmins said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement: “We are thrilled to welcome IIFA to New York. Our city is home to both a thriving film industry and a dynamic, growing Indian American community. This is an event that will contribute enormously to both the cultural and economic life of our city.
“We welcome the artists and fans of Indian cinema, and encourage everyone to experience the rich cultural life across the five boroughs while celebrating these ground-breaking films.”
The organisers are confident the mecca for entertainment, business, fashion and culture is a perfect fit for the excitement and entertainment that will be brought there by a star studded contingent travelling for the events.
Timmins said they are hoping to sell as many as 40,000 tickets for the event, where he hopes to see a confluence of Hollywood and Bollywood glamour.
Since debuting in London in 2000, the IIFA event has been annually showcasing the prowess of the multi-million dollar Hindi film industry, promoting the country and its talent at foreign destination year after year.
The event has been held at places as varied as Sun City (South Africa), Genting Highlands (Malaysia), Johannesburg (South Africa), Singapore, Amsterdam, Dubai, Yorkshire, Bangkok, Macau, Colombo, Toronto, Singapore, Tampa Bay and Kuala Lumpur.
Last year, Madrid in Spain was the host.