High Lights

StarBuzz Online - Toronto

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The “Starbuzz” of the 2011 International Indian Academy Awards (IIFA)!

Samita Nandy, Canada’s First Celebrity Cultural Critic, on the Premiere Event
StarBuzz Weekly, Toronto-
International cinema is not just located in Los Angles.  In hosting the 2011 IIFA awards, Toronto is the first North American city celebrating a 2 billion dollar Bollywood global film industry.  Starbuzz Media lauds its prestige with in-depth coverage on the celebration.
The IIFA Awards extravaganza is a site that articulates mega-stardom of Bollywood.  In Toronto, cultural and economic capital has started to emerge with the talent of Bollywood celebrities attending the 2011 IIFA gala.   More than 500 film industry members are expected to walk the ‘Green Carpet.’  The gala is also subjected to a spectatorship of 600 million viewers worldwide.  These viewers are not passive “cultural dupes” or “hysterical fanatics,” as earlier critics would assume.  They are rather active audiences and cultural producers, creating symbolic capital and meanings of what it means to be truly celebrated.  
Both film stars and audiences are central to Bollywood productions during this event.  IIFA participants will particularly mark the launch of Mississauga’s Celebration Square.  It is a 40 million dollar state-of-the-art public space, hosting a series of IIFA Buzz events from June 7, 2011.  Vikas Kohli, whose composed music was performed live at the 2008 IIFA, confirms:  the events will pack “free” and “original programming” during the IIFA weekend, June 24-26, 2011.  This includes “Bollywood Under the Stars” which will screen IIFA nominated films and the IIFA awards gala for an estimated 30,000 audiences at the Square.  “We are the only IIFA Buzz location operating on the IIFA weekend,” says Susan Burt, Director of Culture Division in Mississauga.   Divya Kumar, Bollywood dance choreographer asks Torontonians to “bring family” and join “the biggest party” at the Celebration Square during the 2011 IIFA weekend. 
While the globalization of Bollywood cinema may interrogate the Indian nation-state, the IIFA Buzz events rehabilitate cinephilic expressions with particular attention to Indian cinema since historical periods.  The Picture House: the Art of Bollywood is a rare event that traces the roots of contemporary Bollywood cinema.  The exhibition displays hand painted cinema billboards and posters at the Art Gallery of Mississauga till July 12, 2011.   The engagement with these cultural artefacts restores collective memory while expressing pleasures of contemporary cinematic spectatorship coming up in the 2011 IIFA gala.  For further information on the 2011 IFFA Buzz events, please check: http://www.mississauga.ca/portal/discover/iifa
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