IIFA Awards [The International Indian Film Academy Awards] are the most prestigious awards from Bollywood, the premier movie industry in India, and are presented every year by the International Indian Film Academy to recognise professionals and artists from Bollywood.
The first IIFA event was held in 2000. So far, they have been held in different countries around the world, details of which are as follows.
2000: Millennium Dome London, United Kingdom,
2001: Super Bowl Arena, Sun City, South Africa,
2002: Arena of Stars Genting, Highlands, Malaysia,
2003: Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg, South Africa,
2004: Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore,
2005: Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
2006: Dubai International Convention Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
2007: Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield, United Kingdom,
2008: Siam Paragon, Bangkok, Thailand,
2009: The Venetian Macao, Macau, Macau,
2010: Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo, Sri Lanka,
2011: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Canada.
Social and economic benefits of hosting IIFA Awards are many. No wonders, there is a fierce competition among cities to host the event. IIFA reaches out to millions of viewers and fans across the world providing them with an opportunity to see legends of Bollywood together on one stage. Toronto IIFA event was reportedly watched by >600million viewers. The Academy’s main objective has been to develop and promote relationships between film industries and organizations across the world. The focus is on foreign exchange and interaction, creating a common forum and meeting ground for enhancing business opportunities, apart from showcasing Bollywood cinema.
To prove that the hosting city benefits greatly, here is the latest evidence. Government of Ontario invested US$ 12 million to host 2011 edition of IIFA at Toronto and believed to have gained direct economic impact of over US$ 100 million in tourism. The organisers felt the returns of holding IIFA far exceeded the expectations estimated by the Government of Ontario.
IIFA have never been held in Australia, but Melbourne is trying to host them. They have already started the process.
Sydney is truly a world city with plenty of attractions for the Bollywood artists and fans. After all, who can beat Opera House, pristine beaches like Bondi Beach, and Blue Mountain, along with Hunter Valley which is only a short distance away? NSW can rope in our cricketers too, knowing that some of them have a huge fan following in India. Sydney will beat any city, if it decided to bid for IIFA. NSW should definitely bid for it, as it is indeed going to bring heaps of tourists around the time of the event, and thereafter too, which should generate more than $200 million for the NSW economy. With the flow-on effect on the inward tourism from India, and with the improved image of Australia as a travel destination for Indians, this benefit may well cross 500 millions easily over the short to medium term. I know, I am not a NSW treasury official and can’t predict what the monetary outcome of this event would be for NSW, but one thing is certain that it would be beneficial to the economy.
If IIFA is held in Sydney, they will be the best ever (to match the best ever Olympics) and will help strengthen ties between India and Australia. Basically, there are many positives, and no negative.
Organisations of Indian Australians, and Indian Australians in NSW generally, can play a vital role by helping the NSW Govt in the bidding process. There are >150000 people of Indian heritage in Sydney [more if you add the fans of Bollywood from Asian and Middle Eastern backgrounds], who would be a potent force on behalf of NSW in attracting the event for Sydney.
My discussions with many prominent people have given me a clear impression that they would love to have IIFA in Sydney in the near future. To succeed in this however, the work has to start soon. It might be a bit late to bid for 2012, but we can start the process now for 2013 event or thereafter.
NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell is visiting India with a trade delegation next month. I think, it would be a perfect opportunity to initiate the process before the visit and follow it up during the visit.
I, for one, can’t wait to see IIFA event in our beautiful city, Sydney!
PS: I am not in favor of frauds and fake people, with no integrity and value system, getting anywhere near events like IIFA, because they will destroy the whole concept and the brand image. We all know that there are people who can con people to make money, and are very keen to promote themselves as event organizers. They operate with no principle and have no ethics.
Yadu Singh/Sydney/25th October, 2011
- IIFA Toronto (fashionhogger.wordpress.com)
- SRK rocks the IIFA floor despite of his knee injury (celebrityshahrukhkhan.wordpress.com)