IIFA 2011: Bollywood's Best Bets
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IIFA 2011: Bollywood’s Best Bets

A scene from last year’s IIFA awards ceremony.

Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma, Anil Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, and Ritesh Deshmukh. If you’re not just tingling at the mere mention of these names, then you’re probably not one of the 22,000 ticket holders to this weekend’s International Indian Film Academy Awards.
The 12th annual IIFA awards, aka “TIFF on steroids” and also “the Bollywood Oscars” are upon us, and even we have a hard time grasping the immensity of what this means. For instance, when two separate sets of the 16,000 seats for the awards ceremony at the Rogers Centre went on sale, each completely sold out in five minutes. The government of Ontario bid $12 million to be the first North American city to host the awards, designed specifically to promote Bollywood to international countries and expected to attract approximately 40,000 visitors to the province. Predictions are that about 700-million people will tune in to Saturday’s big-ticket event, the Floriana IIFA Awards ceremony. Yeah, that’s like 20 times the population of Canada.
It’s not like Toronto is exactly lacking in cultural events during the summer months, but IIFA’s presence does make a particularly significant testament on the world’s stage to its diverse population and appreciation of the arts. And because far too many of the films and stars on Bollywood marquees aren’t familiar in most of our households, here are some of the most-hyped movies up for statues…


Band Baaja Baaraat (Band Instruments Wedding-Procession)

Director: Maneesh Sharma
Starring: Anushka Sharma, Ranveer Singh
Summary: A romantic comedy following the toils and triumphs of two unlikely business partners who begin a wedding planning business. Mishaps and romance ensues.
Nominations: Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance in a Leading Role Female, Best Music Director, Bet Story, Best Lyrics, Best Playback Singer Female, Best Dialogue.

Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai

Director: Milan Luthria
Starring: Ajay Devgan, Emraan Hashmi, Kangna Ranaut
Summary: Gangsters. Shooting. Implied sex. Furrowed brows. Leather shoes. A movie set in two different eras with two different lords of crime just trying to make their way in the big city of Mumbai, with a sequel in the works.
Nominations: Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance in a Leading Role Male, Best Performance in a Supporting Role Male and Female, Best Performance in a Negative Role, Best Music Director, Best Story, Best Lyrics, Best Playback Singer Male, Best Screenplay, Best Dialogue.

Dabangg

Director: Abhinav Kashyap
Starring: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Om Puri
Summary: Bollywood’s bad boy, Khan, stars in this box-office smash about a corrupt cop who gets himself and his family into trouble with his enemies and kicks some ass to get them out of it, and wears a sweet pair of aviators all the while.
Nominations: Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance in a Leading Role Male, Best Performance in a Supporting Role Female, Best Performance in a Negative Role, Best Music Director, Best Lyrics, Best Playback Singer Male and Female, Best Screenplay, Best Dialogue.

My Name is Khan

Director: Karan Johar
Starring: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol
Summary: An epic journey of a Muslim man with Asperger’s syndrome, originally from Mumbai but living in the United States, at a time soon after September 11. To win back his wife, suffering from the prejudice of having his Muslim last name, he embarks upon a quest to tell the U.S. President that he is “not a terrorist.” Like we said, epic.
Nominations: Best Film, Best Director, Best Performance in a Leading Role Male, Best Music Director, Best Story, Best Lyrics, Best Screenplay.

Raajneeti

Director: Prakash Jha
Starring: Naseeruddin Shah, Arjun Rampal, Nana Patekar
Summary: (English Translation: Politics or Affairs of the State) A political thriller about the inside dealings at election time. The film drew controversy upon its release because of similarities between its characters and current political figures.
Nominations: Best Film, Best Performance in a Leading Role Male and Female, Best Performance in a Supporting Role Male (two nominations), Best Performance in a Negative Role, Best Screenplay, Best Dialogue.

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