Ash and Amitabh at the opening of the IIFA event in Dubai


The seventh International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) event has officially begun in Dubai. The four day event started on 14 June and will continue till 17 June. The event will witness several bollywood stars on a single platform. The first day saw bollywood actor and brand ambassador of IIFA, Amitabh Bachchan address a press conference about the highlights of the event. He was also joined by South Indian superstar Prabhu who was at the event to promote the Telugu and Tamil film industry, which is also one of the largest film industries in the world. The IIFA film festival will open with the hit Tamil film ‘Chandramukhi’.
The bollywood celebrities who will be attending and performing at the IIFA event have been put up The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai amidst extremely tight security. After the press conference one of the major events for the day included Sanjay Gupta launching his five films. Through his company White Feather Films, Gupta launched five new films. His first venture will be ‘Dus Kahaniyaan’ which has ten short stories, although these stories will not be connected to one another in any way. The names of the ten short stories are Lovedale which features Soha Ali Khan, Gubbare which features Nana Patekar and Samir Dattani, Matrimony featuring Arbaaz Khan, Mandira Bedi and Sudhanshu Pande, Zenzi featuring Vivek Oberoi and Tanushree Dutta, Highway featuring Jimmy Shergill and Neha Dhupia, Zahir which stars Bipasha Basu and Aftab Shivdasani, Gupshup starring Esha Deol, Accident starring Anupam Kher, Sex on the Beach featuring Tusshar Kapoor and Rise & Fall featuring Sanjay Dutt and Arjun Rampal. These are the 10 short stories.

His second project will be ‘Woodstock Villa’ which will launch two newcomers, Sikandar Kher, son of Anupam and Kirron Kher along with Neha Uberoi. The film will be directed by Hansal Mehta. The third project is titled ‘Shootout at Lokhandwala’ and is based on a real-life shootout that took place in this suburb between some gangsters and the police. The film will be directed by Apoorva Lakhia and will star Sanjay Dutt, Vivek Oberoi, Arjun Rampal, Tusshar Kapoor, Arbaaz Khan, Rohit Roy, Samir Dattani, Shabbir Ahluwalia and also Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan.

His fourth film has been titled ‘Alibaug’ which is the story of nine friends who set out on a holiday. He has cast some of his close friends for this film like Manasi Joshi Roy, Rohit Roy, Mandira Bedi, Sanjay Suri and of course his friend and business partner Sanjay Dutt. The final project that Gupta launched at the IIFA event was ‘Chamki Chameli’ which is a musical epic to be directed by Shyam Benegal. Sanjay Dutt and Priyanka Chopra will in all probability play the lead roles.

Another highlight on the first day was a book launched by the brand ambassador of IIFA, Amitabh Bachchan. He launched ‘Lights, Camera, Masala’ by Naman Ramachandran who is a screen writer, script-writer and even film critic. The book depicts the making of a film, the grandeur and glamour associated with it as well as the negative aspects of filmdom. Famous bollywood personalities like scriptwriters Salim, Javed, actors Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai and director Karan Johar have lent their personal views on the subject. Hence this definitely gives the book added value. The book also has beautiful pictures by Sheena Sippy.

Aishwarya also finally attended the IIFA event, but only for the first day of the event which saw the screening of her film ‘Provoked’ by Jagmohan Mundhra. Ash also attended the media conference after the screening of her film. She also participated in the media launch of her film ‘Umrao Jaan’. Earlier in the day Ash left an imprint on the Wall of Fame for Dubai’s Studio city. She looked pretty and poised in a sari. Unfortunately Ash will not be able to perform at the awards function as she is currently busy shooting for Mani Ratnam’s ‘Guru’ in Chennai and was only able to get a day off from her shooting schedule.

Well IIFA has surely started with a bang on the very first day and there is still plenty to come in the next three days. Here’s looking forward to all of it.