IIFA 2014: Party in Tampa Bay!
I had the opportunity to attend the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards this weekend in Tampa, FL. For those unfamiliar, IIFA is an annual awards ceremony to honor the Indian film industry and is essentially the Bollywood equivalent of the Oscars. The awards are held in different exotic locales every year - previous locations include Macau, London, Bangkok, and the Maldives. As someone who grew up on Bollywood movies and ardently follows the latest Bollywood gossip, you can imagine my excitement when I heard that the awards were organized in Tampa this year! My friends and I bought our tickets in early January and had been eagerly awaiting the show for the last several months.
|View from the hotel room in Tampa|
The awards show was on Saturday night but we reached Tampa and got the party started on Friday itself. The beautiful sunny weather and amazing beach views from the hotel set the perfect mood for the weekend. As we were wandering around downtown Tampa, my friends and I walked past the Hilton, where the Bollywood stars were residing. We joined the hoards of fans outside the hotel and got a glimpse of Boman Irani, Parineeti Chopra, and Mika Singh!
While I would have liked to meet more celebrities in person, the IIFA Awards show itself delivered a great experience. In true Bollywood fashion, the event was organized with much pomp and excitement, with energetic dance performances, colorful stage design, and great fashion (Also in true Bollywood fashion, the show started 2.5 hours late on IST [Indian Standard Time]). Here were some of my favorite moments from the show:
|Snapshots from IIFA, Source: Shruti Tiwari and Indian Express|
- Ranveer Singh’s Energetic Performance: There’s something about Ranveer Singh that oozes swagger and mischief. His bold entrance onto the stage riding a motorcycle wooed the audience as did his moves to “Tattad tatted” (from the movie Ram Leela).
- Frank Underwood’s Lungi Dance: Kevin Spacey attended the show and was somehow convinced by hosts, Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar, to don a lungi and dance to the Chennai Express song. It was awkward and hilarious at the same time!
- Best Actor and Actress Awards: Deepika Padukone won awards for Entertainer of the Year and Best Actress. The icing on the cake was when the award was presented to her by rumored beau, Ranveer Singh. Meanwhile, Farhan Akhtar won Best Actor for Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
- Madhuri Dixit’s Graceful Performance: Madhuri was hands-down the best performance of the right. The icon performed to all her hits, from Ek Do Teen to Dola Re, and reminded me of my childhood again.
Overall, it was an exciting weekend that has left me with many fun stories...until next year's show!