IIFA weekend takes off in Bangkok

BANGKOK: The IIFA Weekend has kicked off in Bangkok that is to end 8 June with the Idea IIFA Awards.

IIFA Brand Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan inaugurated the event with the Thailand Sports and Tourism minister Khun Weerasak Kowsurat and the Indian Ambassador Latha Reddy.

Also present were Idea Cellular managing director Sanjeev Aga, Gitanjali Lifestyle chairman Mehul Choksi and Wizcraft International Entertainment director Sabbas Joseph.

Kowsurat said, "Thailand is honored to be the host of this prestigious event. As we witness the most memorable events and proceedings over the next 3 days, Bangkok is geared up to offer the best hospitality and play perfect host to this magnificent event."

The IIFA Weekend kicks off with the FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum, an international platform where business icons and world leaders meet on a common platform. It is a dynamic global platform providing the industry with an opportunity to deliberate on a diverse range of business, bilateral economic and political issues.

The highlight of the event is the IIFA Global Leadership Award presentation addressed by Bachchan. IIFA has chosen to honor Nobel Peace Prize laureate and climate change scientist Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri with the IIFA Global Leadership Award at the FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum, 2008.

The IIFA World Premiere, another major highlight at the IIFA Weekend, will give the world a glimpse into the next big thing in Indian Cinema. This year, the IIFA World Premiere at Siam Pavalai, Paragon Cineplex, Bangkok, will showcase Sarkar Raj, starring Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and directed by one of the most sought after Indian directors Ram Gopal Varma. The other films being promoted at the IIFA Weekend will be Mission Istaanbul, Acid Factory, Love Story 2050 and De Taali.

Bachchan said, "IIFA is very special to me and we are committed to enhancing the IIFA phenomenon every year… I am confident that the Idea IIFA Awards will live up to its expectations and that audiences will experience yet another incredible IIFA, this year."

The IIFA Fashion Extravaganza is scheduled for 7 June with leading fashion designers showcasing their creations. The Indian couture line is designed by Rohit Bal, Vikram Phadnis, Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi Mukherjee.

Popular stars of Indian cinema like Kareena Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Priyanka Chopra, Ayesha Takia and Riteish Deshmukh will walk the ramp as the showstoppers.

The make up of the models will be done by MAC and hair by PODE Salon. This magnificent fashion show is choreographed by ace Indian choreographer Lubna Adams with leading Indian film maker, Karan Johar playing host. To add sparkle to the glittering show, DIAMRUSA, a jewellery designer from Thailand and Gitanjali Lifestyle from India, will present their dazzling jewellery collections. The proceeds from the show will go to the IIFA Foundation, which was set up to raise funds and support families that are adversely affected while working for the production of a film.

The Idea IIFA Awards on 8 June will close the IIFA Weekend. The Awards have a stunning performer line-up including Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Govinda amongst others.

The star casts of De Taali, Mission Istaanbul, Love Story 2050 will also put up performances. The awards night will be hosted by Urmila Matondkar, Ritiesh Deshmukh and Boman Irani.