This year it’s not weekend, it’s IIFA party: Sabbas Joseph

Mumbai, June 2 (IANS) Returning to Macau, the Las Vegas of the East, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards and weekend will be a “party” celebrating the magic of Indian movies across different domains, says Sabbas Joseph of Wizcraft International Entertainment, the organisers of the event.

He promises many surprises in the forthcoming 14th edition of the gala, to be held July 4-6 at the Venetian Macao, a luxury hotel and casino resort. The first time that Macau hosted the Indian film event was in 2009.

“There will be tonnes of stuff, all of which is different. We are holding back some of the information for the excitement, but we are celebrating the magic of the movies across different spectrums – from fashion, movies and dance…you will see that as we unveil it,” Joseph told IANS in an interview.

He says the edition held in Macau was one of “the most successful IIFAs in the history of IIFA”.

“In many ways, we wanted to repeat the experience as it is a home for all of us. We thought we would develop that one as a stronger platform and make it memorable. This year it is not a weekend, it is an IIFA party,” he said.

Bollywood’s glitterati swarms the annual event, and this year would be no different.

“I think we have Abhishek Bachchan, Deepika Padukone and many others. We never really get into names at IIFA. We talk about the entire industry, we talk about nominations and technical awards. We never really speak about the stars,” he said.

But what is it that keeps IIFA going even after so many years?

“It is challenging, but it is exciting,” he said, adding that it is important to keep adding new elements to the event. “That keeps it fresh and keeps everyone guessing. If it becomes predictable, then nothing is left.”

IIFA is usually a three-day event comprising press conferences, parties, film premieres, film festivals, business forums, celebrity special events and the glamorous IIFA awards ceremony. So far, the event has gone to places like London, Sun City, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Malaysia, Bangkok, Toronto and Sri Lanka.

It is one of the biggest Indian film awards held abroad, and pulls in fans from all across.

Joseph credits support from all quarters through the years for the success of IIFA.

The choice of venue depends on two things every year – there should be a provision of a good stadium and proper rooms, and secondly, the funding needs to be taken care of.

“The venue has to have a stadium and rooms to host the IIFA. Sometimes, you have cities where you get the rooms but they don’t have stadium to host IIFA. Sometimes you have the perfect stadium but then you don’t have good quality rooms. Each time we respond to that differently,” he said.

“Second is in terms of funding to make it possible. Going to another country is not cheap, so (while choosing) countries, we look at these efforts. What they are doing for IIFA and what they are doing for Indian cinema,” he said.

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