Sunday, 23 March 2008

Bangkok hosts india's OSCAR Awards

BANGKOK, March 22 (Bernama) -- The Thai capital will host the prestigious ninth International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards, the Bollywood equivalent of the Oscars, from June 6 to 8.

More than 500 Hindi film stars, directors and leading industry players from the world's top film producer will converge here for the three-day extragavanza.

Shefali Munshi, associate vice-president of Wizcraft International Entertainment, which is the rights holder and promoter of the event, said details of the films in the running for the top awards and the stars attending would be announced at press conferences in Mumbai on April 15 and here on April 30.

"This will be the first time that Bangkok is hosting the event. We can revisit the country but not the host city," said Shefali, who is here to finalise venues and other preparations for the event.

According to IIFA, the event has brought immense benefits to the host country in terms of tourism and the film industry.

It said the number of Indian visitors to Malaysia rose by 35 per cent and Indian occupancy at Genting Highlands went up by 190 per cent in the year after the staging of the event, which showcases the cream of Indian cinema and provides a platform for the country's film fraternity to globalise their products.

Thailand, which is one of the favourite shooting locations for Indian films, attracted 510,000 Indian tourists last year and is aiming for more than 600,000 this year.

Indian film legend Amitabh Bachchan is the brand ambassador of the IIFA.

Besides the awards ceremony, the IIFA also incorporates a global business forum and workshop. (Bernama)