Everything you need to know about Bollywood’s big awards night
Some of Bollywood’s biggest stars will walk the distinctive green carpet on Saturday as the United Arab Emirates hosts the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards, a showcase for the declining Hindi-language film industry. Salman Khan and Abhishek Bachchan are among the A-listers of Abu Dhabi, capital of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, where more than a third of the 10 million people are Indian.
The stars will walk the green carpet – adopted in 2007 as a nod to climate change – after a year when Bollywood, Mumbai’s Hindi film machine, faltered after the pandemic.
Rising streaming, competition from other parts of India and a trend away from Bollywood’s often thin storylines have all helped to keep cinemas quiet, experts say.
However, Bollywood received a boost in March when the viral dance number Naatu Naatu won the Oscar for best song, a first for an Indian film.
In January, superstar Shah Rukh Khan Pathane broke Indian box office records, another positive sign for the industry.
The Gulf, with its millions of South Asian residents and migrant workers, is a “huge market” for Bollywood, said industry expert Akshaye Rathi, director of the Aashirvad Cinemas chain.
“These kinds of events don’t overcome a crisis overnight,” Rathi told AFP ahead of the 23rd IIFA, the second consecutive IIFA to be held in Abu Dhabi.
“But event by event, occasion by occasion, viewers keep reminding the diaspora out there, the locals, of the existence of this wonderfully robust, entertainment-producing brotherhood.”
The fantasy-adventure film Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva looks likely to take home a number of awards after being nominated in 10 categories, including Directing, Best Supporting Female and Male, and Best Original Story.
comedy-horror Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 And darlingsa dark comedy, are both nominated for Best Picture, Best Direction and Best Leading Actress.
“I am happy to know that the IIFA is complete, thank you all,” Khan, a dean of Indian cinema, said in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
“I’m sure everyone has four or five tickets.”
Bollywood, known for its strong musical tradition, is the most prolific film producer in the world.
The Hindi-language film industry was worth $2.5 billion in 2019. India also releases hundreds of films in its other 21 official languages, producing around 1,600 every year.
The pandemic lockdowns sent the industry into a tailspin, with multiplex chains suffering major losses and dozens of smaller theaters going bankrupt.
The IIFA Awards have taken place in other venues around the world, including London, Madrid, Johannesburg and Singapore, reflecting the broad appeal of Bollywood and India’s sprawling diaspora.
“Bollywood is a very important window to the world on Indian cultural traditions,” said Sunjay Sudhir, India’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, in Abu Dhabi.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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