The excitement was very contagious as we stood in the main lobby of the Venetian in Macau as we covered the 14th Annual International Indian Film Academy Awards.
The first of the stars to walk in was the gorgeous Zeenat Aman after a bit of a hassle with lost luggage at Hong Kong Airport before getting on to the ferry to Macau.
She looked rather elegant in a ‘strawberries and cream’ outfit. The ever present eyewear that is favoured by many celebrities was perched on her face as she regally walked by the screaming fans who gasped at her ageless beauty. Indeed, she had everyone in awe with her presence.
Next up was Abhishek Bachchan with Shahid Kapoor accompanying him. Wearing a branded sports leather jacket and jeans with a trendy pair of aviator glasses, Abhishek was in high spirits as he stopped to greet his fans who had broken past security guards and were clamouring for a glimpse of their hero.
Shahid had his face covered with large sunglasses and a baseball cap and almost went unrecognised, overshadowed in the presence of Big B’s son.
This happened at Hong Kong Airport too where both Abhishek and Shahid, who had travelled together, went unrecognised. Shahid said he was very happy to be part of the IIFA awards this year especially for the 100 years of cinema celebrations.
At the press briefing on Thursday, a plethora of stars graced the event to officially kick off the 14th annual IIFA Awards with the pizazz it deserved.
Abhishek Bachchan was the first to walk in, having swapped his leather jacket for a dark suit. Jacqueline Fernandes and Sophie Choudry added to the glamour.
Other stars present were TV host Hussein Kuwajerwala, Shahid Kapoor, Ayushman Khurrana, Parineeti Chopra and Arjun Kapoor amongst others. Thereafter Abhishek and Shahid were invited on stage to set their hand imprints in cement.
With over 800 million people viewing the event all over the world, excluding views from the internet, IIFA this year has joined hands with India's largest automobile manufacturer TATA to empower women in India to know their rights.
A briefing for the launch of Santa Banta was held with the star cast present to promote their film. Boman Irani took centre stage with his humour and quips that had everyone laughing.
He was accompanied by Veer Dass, Ram Kapoor, Neha Dhupia and the producer of the film, actress-turned-producer Sheba. You can be the first to hear the soundtrack only on East FM.
There were two green carpet events at the IIFA awards. One was the 'IIFA Rocks' night and the other was the main awards night itself.
A lot of stars graced the green carpet, passing hysterical fans who had their cameras ready. The two women who definitely stole the show on the green carpet were definitely Sridevi, who was accompanied by her husband Boney Kapoor, and their two daughters. She wore a bottle green strapless gown with a dark red lipstick that enhanced her big brown eyes as she smiled.
The other lady who got a hysterical reception was Madhuri Dixit who is making a comeback of sorts to Bollywood with Gulab Gangs (with Juhi Chawla). She wore a traditional Indian lengha and regally swept across the green carpet, waving and stopping to smile at everyone. She didn’t speak much to fans as she was jet-lagged but did make a point to slow down for pictures and smiles.
IIFA Rocks was hosted by Boman Irani and Veer Daas, dressed as Sardars to promote their upcoming film Santa Banta. Boman Irani’s ability to have everyone in stitches was very evident as the whole auditorium’s laughter rung loud and clear at his quips. They also sang for Zahid Khan who was celebrating his birthday and the performer of the evening at IIFA Rocks was definitely Dia Mirza.
On Saturday, the day of the main event, fans had started pouring into the Venetian as early as midday and started lining the barriers by the green carpet leading up to the Cotai Arena within the Venetian. As people began to pile into the arena, I looked around marvelling at the organisation, the speed at which everyone was seated, even though the event did start almost two hours late. In fact, there is a running joke that everything begins ‘Indian Standard Time’ which is normally two hours after the actual time!
Shahid Kapoor was the host for the evening and was joined by Shah Rukh Khan who was in a sling as he is still recovering from a surgery. Apparently, Shahid was also recovering from torn ligaments after an injury on sets while shooting a film. That didn’t stop the superstars from giving a sterling performance as they had the audiences in splits with their antics. They were later joined by Boman Irani. Performances were liberally peppered throughout the evening from stars like Sushant, Ayushman Khurrana, Parineeti Chopra, including the three who completely stole the show – Sridevi with Prabhudeva and of course Madhuri Dixit.
BIG WINNERS AT INDIAN OSCARS
BEST MUSIC DIRECTION:
Pritam – Barfi
BEST MUSIC LYRICS:
Abhi Mujh Meh Kahin – Agneepath
BEST MALE PLAYBACK SINGER:
Abhi Mujh Meh Kahin – Agneepath
BEST FEMALE PLAY BACK SINGER
Chiknee Chameli – Agneepath
Late Yash Chopra
BEST DEBUT FEMALE:
Yami Gautam – Vicky Donor
BEST DEBUT MALE:
Ayushman Khurrana – Vicky Donor
BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR:
Gauri Shinde – English Vinglish
IIFA DIGITAL STAR OF THE YEAR
(according to statistics from Google data)
Shah Rukh Khan
OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO INDIAN CINEMA
IIFA HUMANITY AWARD
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT BY AN INDIAN IN INTERNATIONAL CINEMA
Anurag Basu – Barfi
BEST PERFORMANCE IN NEGATIVE ROLE
Rishi Kapoor – Barfi
BEST PERFORMANCE IN COMIC ROLE
Abhishek Bachchan – Bol Bachchan
BEST JODI OF THE YEAR:
Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone
BEST ACTOR IN SUPPORTING ROLE
Anu Kapoor – Vicky Donor
BEST ACTRESS IN SUPPORTING ROLE
Anushka Sharma – Jab Tak Hai Jaan
BEST ACTOR IN LEADING ROLE
Ranbir Kapoor – Barfi
BEST ACTRESS IN LEADING ROLE
Vidya Balan – Kahani
Anurag Basu – Barfi