Bollywood fans prepare for IIFA New York

The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) has announced that this year’s IIFA Festival and Awards Weekend will be held 14-15 July 2017 at the MetLife Stadium just outside of New York City in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The IIFA Awards – also known as the “Bollywood Oscars” – is an international event bringing the biggest Bollywood celebrities together with fans and media in a different country each year. It has all the celebrity and pageantry of Hollywood’s Oscars ceremony, but with a decidedly Bollywood film flavor.

The IIFA Voting is already in motion where members of the Indian film industry cast their votes for nominees in the category of the Popular Awards. The IIFA Voting Weekend marks the advent of the IIFA celebrations each year.

With its “One People, One World” vision, IIFA is bringing the most awaited global event of the year to New York City this year. In an official press conference held on Thursday, June 1, at Taj Lands End in Mumbai, actors Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Alia Bhatt expressed their excitement of performing for the IIFAs in the city.

Alia Bhatt said that she is “really, really thrilled” to perform at the IIFAs this year as she “has been trying to be a part of the IIFA journey but somehow it has not happened but I’m really glad that the year it has happened I have two nominations and it’s in New York.”

Bhatt also exclaimed that she can’t wait to come here and perform for the people; she has been dancing in her sleep. Kaif pointed out that it’s been about five or six years since she’s performed at IIFA. “I think they always have the most amazing set up, the most amazing stages and this particular stadium that we are going to be in, is one of the best in the world.” Kaif said.

She added that she is excited as New York is her favorite city as her sister used to study here and she had also come last year with Bhatt for the Dream Team Tour and will get to celebrate her birthday in the city as well.

“I’m really excited and looking forward to perform at the IIFA Awards this year. It is such a great platform that not only showcases the celebration of cinema globally, but also it’s a great opportunity for us to reach out to our fans worldwide,” said Kaif.

Salman Khan has “done about five or six IIFAs till now”, he said. “I’m not bored of it yet and I don’t think I’m ever going to get bored of it,” he said.

Viraf Sarkari, Director of Wizcraft International, the producers and creators of the IIFA movement, called it the greatest global Indian media event as it is the most highly anticipated event each year. MetLife Stadium, which seats 40,000, will be the biggest venue that IIFA has ever been to.

“For the first time in the Big Apple, IIFA will be a truly memorable experience for the audience with a mix of music, dance, culture and cinema. Capturing the very best of India with the use of world class production and a lineup of some of the most sought after Bollywood celebrities, IIFA promises to be a great show at the spectacular MetLife Stadium,” said Sarkari. “We are grateful for all the support and cannot wait for fans to see the Bollywood extravaganza come to life in July,” he added.

Other than Khan, Kaif and Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, Sushant Singh Rajput and Kriti Sanon will also be performing at the main event. Supporting these stars will be dancers from Arya Dance Academy, based in the US. Arya will also be hosting a dance competition called the IIFA Dance Off, in which two winners will be selected to perform on the stage. To enter the competition, visit bollyshake.com. The main event will be hosted by Karan Johar.

Commenting on the occasion, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio explained, “We are thrilled to welcome IIFA to New York! Our city is home to both a thriving film industry and a dynamic, growing Indian American community. This is an event that will contribute enormously to both the cultural and economic life of our city. We welcome the artists and fans of Indian cinema, and encourage everyone to experience the rich cultural life across the five boroughs while celebrating these groundbreaking films.”

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