The biggest stars of Indian film, along with some of the world’s best-known international celebrities, will be arriving in Yorkshire next June for the spectacular IIFA Weekend and the exciting celebrity action will be broadcast across the world on the Star TV network, which is in the process of launching Star Gold and Star One channels on the Sky platform.
Since its launch in 2000, the IIFA Weekend has been staged at prestigious locations across the world, including Singapore, Malaysia, Amsterdam, South Africa and Dubai, and has grown to become one of the most well respected global media events. The IIFA Awards presentation ceremony has a global reach of nearly 500 million viewers.
At the House of Commons, the epitome of Indian cinema, Amitabh Bachchan, IIFA’s Brand Ambassador, will be joined by dignitaries, including Secretary of State, Tessa Jowell, Leader of the House, Jack Straw, the High Commissioner of India to the UK, Kamlesh Sharma and Keith Vaz, MP, to celebrate the return of the IIFA Weekend to the UK.
Additionally, Judith Donovan, chairperson for the Yorkshire Tourism Board and Tom Riordan, CEO, Yorkshire Forward, the regional development authority which won the bid to host the prestigious IIFA Weekend, will be announcing details of the IIFA Weekend and the anticipated impact for Yorkshire business and tourism.
Mr Bachchan, who was voted BBC’s Superstar of the Millennium in 2000 pushing behind Hollywood’s biggest stars and heartthrobs, will focus on the rising popularity of Indian cinema as a major global business.
Mr Bachchan said: “IIFA is committed to taking Indian Cinema across the globe and into the UK with the 2007 IIFA Weekend in Yorkshire. Cinema brings together people from diverse cultures for a shared experience bridging the cultural divide. Using cinema as a key to open minds; the International Indian Film Academy believes bridges should be built across cinemas, businesses, communities and nations”
“IIFA has travelled to six countries across the world and has left a mark in the minds and hearts of the people. We are confident that the IIFA Weekend in Yorkshire will have the same impact”, said Sabbas Joseph, Director, IIFA.
The UK and India have a long and profitable history of business relationships and the UK is India’s number one location for investment in Europe. The economic impact of the IIFA weekend is significant and will affect sectors such as hospitality, tourism, travel, telecommunications, television and above all the world of cinema.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sanjeev Aga, Managing Director, Idea Cellular, the lead sponsors of the Idea IIFA Awards said, “Idea is delighted to be associated with the IIFA movement and its journey to Yorkshire. Idea Cellular is a part of the Aditya Birla Group, which has had a very deep association with the UK over the years. We are keenly looking forward to the celebrations at the Idea IIFA Awards in June 2007.”
Supported by Prime Minister Tony Blair, Yorkshire was successful in its bid to attract the event organisers attention. Judith Donovan said: “Yorkshire is one of the premier locations in the UK and is delighted to be hosting the eighth year of the prestigious IIFA Weekend. It looks forward to opening its doors and welcoming film personalities, business stalwarts, eminent public figures of India and the rest of the world”.
The House of Commons launch event will be followed by a five-city launch the next day in the company of the Mayors of York, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford, who will flag off the IIFA Weekend announcement along with Mr. Amitabh Bachchan. The five-city launch will be held at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television (NMPFT), Bradford.
Previous IIFA Weekend events have hosted some of the world’s major celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Shekhar Kapur, Ashok Amritraj, Jean Claude Van Damme, Bo Derek, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan and others. IIFA Weekend celebrations, which were launched at the Millennium Dome in 2000, have travelled across South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Amsterdam and Dubai. IIFA Weekend Yorkshire marks the return of the celebration which has already become one of the world’s most-watched and sought after event.
The IIFA Weekend Yorkshire is supported by Yorkshire Forward, Yorkshire Tourist Board, Star TV network and Idea Cellular Ltd. Elite Limousines and the Oulton Hall are some of the key partners who are helping set the stage for the mega celebration.