As a part of the ongoing preparations, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) held a press conference in Mumbai on 27 March 2014, attended by superstars Hrithik Roshan, Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar. Come April, the Indian Film fraternity will take the United States by storm, as the 15th edition of the IIFA Weekend and Awards will play out from 23-26 April 2014 in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Tampa Bay will bear witness to superstar, Hrithik Roshan’s signature moves as the ace performer takes to the Tata Motors IIFA Awards this year. Speaking on his performance, Hrithik said,
“I have been a part of many IIFAs where I have performed at different locales. IIFA was in fact my first international performance and something I have always treasured. I am honoured to be a part of this major milestone in IIFA’s journey as they venture into the United States of America, showcasing our film industry in Tampa Bay this year.”
Roshan has previously performed at IIFA in Sun City, Singapore and Colombo. This will be his first performance in the United States in a decade. During his 2002 US tour, he performed at the MCI Center in Washington, DC and the Washington Post reported:
When 28-year-old Hrithik appeared onstage, flames erupted on either side of him and the audience shrieked with abandon. He wore a black sparkly ensemble decorated all over with his trademark fringes. He tilted his head to one side and everybody screamed. He tilted his head to the other side and everybody screamed. He pointed a finger at a nosebleed section and everybody there screamed. He jerked his shoulders around. He swiveled his hips, dropped for some virtual breakdancing, got up and did a sort of martial arts kick.
Then Hrithik, who resembles a cross between Elvis Presley and Dudley Do-Right, made love to the audience. In between the tenderest of air kisses, he said, "I've been waiting and wanting . . . and finally I have my chance to say thank you for your love and support."
He waited for the shrieking to subside, then offered: "I have loved, cherished and enjoyed every moment of this beautiful relationship. Each and every one of you out there is important to my being."
And then, when the fans were finally quiet again, he had a confession to make: "The only reason I feel like a heartthrob right now is because my heart is throbbing for you!"
This year, the Tata Motors IIFA Awards will see the reappearance of one of its best hosting duos, actors Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar. After their successful hosting stint in Singapore, the actors will reprise their roles this year. Speaking on hosting the Tata Motors IIFA Awards, actor Farhan Akhtar said,
"IIFA’s exalted platform has always given me an adrenaline rush. Having received immense love and appreciation for my previous stint as host, I am excited at the prospects of hosting another year of the spectacular celebration."
Playing host for the third year running, actor Shahid Kapoor added,
"Hosting IIFA always makes me happy, as it as a chance to interact with the entire film fraternity that gathers together, IIFA is the most prestigious award ceremony which honors the best of our Industry."
Dance guru Shiamak Davar will also be a part of IIFA this year as the event’s official choreographer. Renowned for some of the biggest dance performances including his highly acclaimed work on India’s first musical Zangoora, Tampa Bay will mark Shiamak’s 11th year with IIFA.
Announcing the winners of the Zest for Stardom Contest, Ms. Delna Avari, Head-Marketing Communications, Passenger Vehicles, Tata Motors said,
"Close on the heels of unveiling The ZEST, a true dynamic sedan, from Tata Motors that meshes killer instinct with elegance, we announced the ‘ZEST for Stardom’ on February 26, 2014, in association with IIFA. The response to this unique contest was overwhelming, with entries pouring from all over the globe, including USA. Owing to the phenomenal response we have received, it is our pleasure to announce that there will be not one but three winners, two winners from India and one from USA. We are delighted to announce that Mr. Himanshu Singh and Ms. Pallavi Kalra –from India and Mr. Mohit Batra, from USA are the lucky winners of the Zest for Stardom contest who have been bestowed with a golden opportunity to share the Tata Motors IIFA Stage with actor, Ranveer Singh."
Going beyond entertainment, IIFA has long been committed to building bridges between India and the global arena as it strides across the world. With the trade relationship between the U.S. and India at its peak, the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum creates a perfect opportunity for exchange. This forum will bring together business leaders from India and America to explore new economic opportunities, providing a platform for Indians and Americans to engage in discussion and professional development.
Hosted by the University of South Florida College of Business, the forum will be a two-day event on the theme - "Indo-U.S. Partnership: A Catalyst for Economic Growth". Eminent speakers of the event include Rick Scott- Governor of Florida, Bob Buckhorn, Mayor - Tampa City, Vivek Lall- President & CEO, Reliance Industries Ltd, N.R Narayana Murthy Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Infosys, Dr. R. K Pachauri- TERI Chairman and Chairman United Nations Panel on Climate Change among others.
Another IIFA initiative, the IIFA Expo is a world fair to be held at the Tampa Convention Center, Florida from 24th to 26th April 2014. Bringing business, products and services from India and USA under one roof, the expo will provide a unique platform to unlock opportunities for businesses and communities, thereby promoting trade and commerce between two countries and cultures.
Sabbas Joseph, Director – Wizcraft International and IIFA said
"Year after year IIFA has played out at various spectacular locations world over, committing itself to the cause of making Indian cinema global. Loyal to the very cause, IIFA has always lined-up an array of distinguished events which connect India to a global audience. We are confident that events like the IIFA Expo, FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum and various others will prove to be the perfect bridge between India and the U.S."
The Videocon D2H IIFA Weekend is presented by Videocon D2H and the Tata Motors IIFA Awards is presented by Tata Motors and powered by Lava Mobiles.
Mr. Saurabh Dhoot – Director, Videocon group, on this association stated,
"In our sixth year of successful association, Videocon d2h along with IIFA, shares a similar outlook of promoting excellence in entertainment. The focus of both IIFA and Videocon d2h is adding variety and value in its entertainment quotient. Videocon d2h which is now Asia’s Most Promising DTH brand strives to provide the best viewing experience in Asli HD through its DTH services and now reaches more than 10 million homes. We provide a very good platform for IIFA as well to reach out to this discerning audience."
Mr. Anil Khera – CEO, Videocon d2h added,
"IIFA is the most awaited Hindi cinema award show due to the scale of its grandeur and global presence. Videocon d2h is the fastest growing DTH service in the country and has been at the forefront of innovation & high quality service in this sector. Videocon d2h would like to partake in promoting our cinema’s rich heritage, cinematic values and its resplendent beauty to delight every individual with the magic that Indian Cinema creates on celluloid through IIFA. This is a very good opportunity for both and we would like to take this association further."
Commenting on its partnership with IIFA, Hari Om Rai, Chairman & Managing Director, LAVA International said,
"We are proud to be associated with IIFA for the second consecutive year; IIFA offers us a great platform to demonstrate the true essence of our products that are a perfect fusion of looks, experience & performance. With this association we reinforce our brand's promise to create products with an extremely strong proposition that will captivate the consumers."
The IIFA Weekend & Awards will be broadcast globally on Star Plus, for the 10th year running. Gaurav Banerjee, General Manager, Star Plus said,
"We are proud to partner Wizcraft for over the last ten years in the biggest celebration of Indian Cinema with the IIFA weekend. This year with Tampa Bay as the host, a fantastic line up of talent and support from the industry, we promise to create a blockbuster evening reaching IIFA to millions of households worldwide through Star Plus."
Visit Tampa Bay is the Official Destination Partner for the IIFA Weekend and Awards 2014 and Visit Florida, a key partner. Freedom Health Insurance are co-presenting sponsors for the IIFA Celebrations, Tampa Electric Company (TECO), a sponsor of the unique community event of IIFA Stomp and Mosaic, a sponsor of FICCI – IIFA Global Business Forum. Vishal Sarees is an associate partner of IIFA and Jammu & Kashmir Tourism, a partner.