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Times of India Film Awards' goal more than just glitz 0

Nita Naidoo, Bollywood File columnist. (SUBMITTED)

By Nita Naidoo, 24 hours Vancouver

April's Times of India Film Awards event will be hosted actor Ranbir Kapoor who won two Filmfare Awards last year. (WENN.COM)

April's Times of India Film Awards event will be hosted actor Ranbir Kapoor who won two Filmfare Awards last year. (WENN.COM)

In case you’ve been under a rock for the past few days, there’s been an awful lot of Bollywood talk around Vancouver lately.

In a press conference Tuesday, Premier Christy Clark announced the city will host the first ever Times of India Film Awards in April. The provincial government will spend approximately $11 million on the three-day event, an investment Clark hopes will enhance ties between B.C. and India, an emerging economic powerhouse.

The announcement has drawn some confusion as a local TV station reported the event was the equivalent of the Bollywood Oscars, better known as the International India Film Academy Awards. But Lizel Noronha, an IIFA spokesperson, told The Globe and Mail that Vancouver will host “a different event ... along the same format as the International Indian Film Academy Weekend and Awards.”

Although the province had put in a bid to host IIFA, a news release from the organization on Monday said the bid was rejected.

Sudhir Datta, general manager of RJ1200, Vancouver’s Bollywood station, a sponsor of the event, said the “TOIFA is more along the lines of the people’s choice awards. One of objectives of the B.C. government is to promote tourism, and this will certainly help B.C. capture India’s attention.”

The event will be hosted actor Ranbir Kapoor who won two Filmfare Awards last year — one for Rockstar and the second for his lively portrayal of a deaf-mute in Barfi.

Naturally, the BC Liberals have come under fire with opponents criticizing Clark for courting foreign filmmakers while the local film industry struggles. Others claim it’s a suspiciously expedient move for an election year. But there are also those who point to India’s burgeoning GDP and remember the role events like Expo ’86 played in the development of the province.

Will this little drama unfurl as comedy of a tragedy? Who knows? As for fans looking to buy tickets, sales are expected to start Feb. 15.

Bollywood gossip, guess who?

1. Kangana Ranaut is making headlines with Salman Khan. Find out why.

2. The Bachchans have a new reason to celebrate — get the scoop!

3. The Filmfare Awards are done, but some B-towners are unsatisfied with the winners.

Answers to Blind Gossip items will be revealed next week on RJ1200's Mornings with Paras and Sharanya, at AM1200

 

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