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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Indian ‘Oscars’ will put Bollywood’s focus on Toronto

When Bollywood’s version of the Oscars coming to Toronto in June, it will not only be the first time the event is held in North America. It will also be the first chance many fans here will have to see how massive the Bollywood industry is globally.

The International Indian Film Academy will be hosting the three-day awards event June 23-25, culminating in the main awards show, open to the public at the Rogers Centre.
As in North America, India has a plethora of awards shows. But organizers say that, with the star power and high TV ratings the IIFA show attracts, it has become Bollywood’s Oscar equivalent.

Now in their 12th year, the IIFA awards have never been held in India – the IIFA claims that foreign host sites heighten the show’s glamour for the Bollywood press. They have previously been held in the U.K., South Africa, the Netherlands and China. North America was overdue.

“We consider this a landmark event, huge in proportion,” says Sabbas Joseph, director of IIFA. “It is the highest-rated, most-watched television [Indian] event … It has a viewership of 700 million to 800 million globally.”


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