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IIFA 2008 begins

After travelling through the eight cities of London, Sun City, Johannesburg, Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai, Amsterdam and Yorkshire starting from the year 2000, the ninth edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) came to grace the city of Bangkok yesterday.

The IIFA Weekend Bangkok, the three day extravaganza kicked off on June 6, yesterday at the Dusit Thani Super Luxury Hotel.

The gala event which has been contributing a lot to the growth of the Bollywood's popularity outside India is aimed at improving the way in which the films from India's biggest film industry is seen by the International fraternities and also to extend the Tinsel Town's business to more unexplored territories.

The living legend of Indian Cinema and the brand ambassador Mr.Amitabh Bachchan started off the programes in the presence of Thailand Sports and Tourism minister, Khun Weerasak Kowsurat and the Indian Ambassador Latha Reddy.

A big group of the Indian film Personalities along with the Managing Director of Idea Cellular, Mr. Sanjeev Aga, Chariman of Gitanjali Lifestyle, Mr.Mehul Choksi and Director of Wizcraft International Entertainment Ltd. Mr.Sabbas Joseph and other high profile invitees from Thailand were present for the ceremony.

Speaking on the occasion Mr.Amitabh Bachchan said that IIFA is very special to him and the Bollywood is committed to enhancing the IIFA phenomenon every year.

This year's three day long celebration of the Hindi Cinema is a power package designed keeping in mind to add the maximum glamour and focus on not only the business side but also the changing face of Hindi cinema , concern for the environment ,the creativity of Bollywood and the latest fashion trends in B-Town.

The package includes FICCI IIFA Global Business Forum which can be called as an international platform for the business icons,world leaders and personalities from the film Industry to meet and to discuss on various businesses, bilateral, economic and political issues.

IIFA Fashion Extravaganza which will come alive on stage today exposing to the international crowd the talents of the leading fashion designers of India who are an integral part of Bollywood.
The leading Indian Fashion Designers such as Rohit Bal, Vikram Phadnis, Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi Mukherjee will be presenting their collections.
The connection of hi end fashion and the films will be further revealed when the leading stars like Kareena Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Priyanka Chopra, Ayesha Takia and Riteish Deshmukh will walk the ramp dressed up in the sparkling costumes of the top designers.

The fashion event will be choreographed by the ace Indian choreographer Lubna Adams and Karan Johar, one of the leading directors of Hindi Cinema will host the programe.

DIAMRUSA, a jewellery designer from Thailand and Gitanjali Lifestyle from India will present some dazzling jewellery collections.

The money raised from the fashion event will go to IIFA Foundation which was set up to raise funds and support families that are adversely affected while working for the production of a film.

Idea IIFA Awards on June 8 will be the closing event of the three day extravaganza. The awards night will be hosted by the highly talented actress Urmila Matondkar, leading actor Ritesh Deshmukh and the versatile actor Boman Irani. The award function will also have its share of spectacular dance performances by some of Indian Cinema's leading names such as Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Govinda among others.

The star cast of the soon to released films like De Taali, Mission Istaanbul, Love Story 2050 will also perform during the awards night.

On the opening day Bollywood showed its solidarity in highlighting the behemoth problem of global warming that has become a universal issue to tackle in a strict time bound manner for the survival of the future generations of humans.

IIFA contributed to the fight against climate change by honouring Dr.Rajendra K. Pachauri who is the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate with former US Vice President Al Gore last year by presenting him with the IIFA global leadership award.

At last year's IIFA at Yorkshire, 'Greening the IIFAs' crusade was launched. This year the IIFA has tied up with UNEP and TERI and also launched the Green Globe Foundation as its contribution to preserving the environment.

The Bachchan family after the function to honour Mr.Pachauri planted a sapling in the Dusit Thani Hotel.

'Sarkar Raj' the film in which Amitabh Bachchan , Abhishek Bachchan, and Aishwarya Rai, are doing the lead roles for the first time and directed by one of the India's finest directors Mr.Ram Gopal Varma was premiered on the opening day of IIFA at Siam Pavalai, Paragon Cineplex.

Other than the Bachchan family, Zayed Khan, Neil Nithin Mukesh, yesteryear's actress Mumtaz, Ajay Bijli, David Dhawan, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akthar attended the premiere of 'Sarkar Raj'.

'Mission Istaanbul', 'Acid Factory', 'Love Story 2050' and 'De Taali' are the other films which will be shown in the IIFA World Premiere 2008.

From the year the IIFA was started as a one day programe in 2000, it has come a long way.

Now IIFA can be called as a festival of Hindi Cinema and commands a record viewer ship among the television viewers all over the world and attracts the whole world's media coverage.

Which ever country has played the host to the IIFA till now has benefited greatly with a huge increase in tourism and investment in that country by the Indians.

Last Year's IIFA was conducted in Yorkshire as per the request of the former Prime Minister of Britain Mr. Tony Blair.

The showcasing of Bollywood in this manner also has increased the interest of the local population of the host country in the Hindi films and has directly resulted in more Hindi films being released in those countries.