Note this... In 2001, Aamir Khan's LAGAAN was premiered in South Africa, the then venue of I.I.F.A. Awards. In 2002, Gaurang Doshi's AANKHEN was premiered in Malaysia. In 2003, Honey Irani's directorial debut ARMAAN was premiered in South Africa.
Chances are, Gaurang Doshi's DEEWAAR will be premiered at the forthcoming I.I.F.A. Awards. The weekend award function, held in a new country every year, will be held in Singapore from May 22 to 24, 2004. Though, of course, the three men behind I.I.F.A. -- Sabbas, Andre and Viraf -- are non-committal about it. "Just wait and watch," the trio laugh as this writer enquires about the film that is to be premiered.
Addressing a well-attended press meet at Hotel J.W. Marriott, Juhu, Amitabh Bachchan, the Brand Ambassador of I.I.F.A., disclosed I.I.F.A.'s plans of holding this year's award presentation in South East Asia.
However, this writer got some EXCLUSIVE info on the awards ceremony, which the organisers didn't reveal at the press meet.
Last year, I.I.F.A. started the trend of showcasing five films to the select press from India and abroad. The films showcased were RUDRAKSH, MUMBAI SE AAYA MERA DOST, JANASHEEN, KUCH NAA KAHO and KHEL.
Continuing with the practice of showcasing unreleased films to the mediapersons from across the globe, I.I.F.A. will showcase 6-7 new films this year. "We're talking to producers at the moment. We'll finalise the list shortly," Sabbas and Andre tell me.
Last year, I.I.F.A. also introduced the practice of holding a sports-related event for a charitable cause. A cricketers versus stars match was organised in South Africa and the funds accrued from the sale of tickets were distributed to the poor and needy in Bollywood.
This year, I.I.F.A. has plans to hold a sports-related event [will it be football this time?], though the modalities are currently being worked out. "We need the participation of the local crowd in Singapore. So we'll opt for a sport that they enjoy most," Viraf tells me.
I.I.F.A. also offers a platform to producers to launch their films... In 2002, Sanjay Gupta's PLAN was launched on the occasion. In 2003, Anil Sharma unveiled the star cast of AB TUMHARE HAWALE WATAN SAATHIYO to the august gathering. In 2004, a few biggies are expected to roll in Singapore. Besides, the cast of a few films will be unveiled on the occasion.
One more thing about I.I.F.A. The events that take place in the 3-day weekend function are meticulously planned year after year. "It'll be better this year," confide the organisers. Like Amitabh Bachchan remarked, "We'll ensure, everyone gets a proper seat at I.I.F.A."
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