Amitabh Bachchan, the brand ambassador of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards, is pleased with the academy’s achievements in the world arena. Amitabh says apart from popularising Indian cinema abroad, IIFA also allows the film fraternity to spend quality time with each other.
How are IIFA awards this year different from previous ones?
I think every year there is some progress made at the IIFA awards. We started by merely acknowledging and honouring artistes for their work. Now we have moved on to creating a forum where business opportunities are created and discussed. There are forums for discussion on cinema for people from all over the world. There are charity events and sports events. Then, of course, the awards ceremony is unique because the film industry votes for itself. The awards are all computerised.
Which one is the most enjoyable aspect of IIFA for you?
I think it is a wonderful opportunity for the entire film industry to get together in one city in any part of the world over a period of four days. We are all neighbours in the film industry. But we don’t get the time to meet one another. I think it is wonderful to be in an environment where one can relax and be with one’s colleagues without stress or anxiety.
Do you think IIFA awards have grown over the past four-five years?
Oh, most certainly. I think over the past seven years IIFA has benefited the film industry both commercially and socially. From providing a lucrative venue to creating awareness about Indian cinema…it has achieved a lot.
What unique aspects this year at IIFA?
Instead of the sports event there is going to be a charity fashion show. And of course we have tried to make improvements in every aspect, from the facilities provided to the guests to the quality of the live shows.
Don’t you think there are too many awards ceremonies every year?
Why not? This is a free society. Everyone has the right to do what he or she likes. It’s any individual or organisation’s prerogative to host an awards ceremony. How wonderful to find our fraternity being acknowledged for our efforts. Creative artistes need the appreciation.
This year you have swept all the popular awards.
Yes, yes…It’s been unique. But that is primarily due to the fact that the film Black was so well-made…all credit to Sanjay (Leela) Bhansali and to the audience for embracing this piece of art. It is unique for a film to score with both critics and the audience. The success of Black shows the maturity of our audiences. A film like this demolishes the wall between art and commercial films. Really, Black has bridged many gaps. And that’s so wonderful.