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Home » Bollywood » Latest News

Toronto welcomes Bollywood

“The atmosphere is very similar to that of an Oscars ceremony, but there’s a lot more passion to it,” said Sabbas Joseph, director of Wizcraft, which began the awards in 2000 to honour the best of Bollywood cinema. “There’s more glamour and pizzazz. You’ll see lots more engagement with the audience and you’ll feel the adrenaline.”

Bollywood is the term applied to Hindi-language movies coming from in Mumbai, India. Bollywood films are mostly musicals and generally contain song-and-dance numbers woven into the script. A film’s success often depends on the quality of musical numbers.

It’s an industry that boasts $100-million a year in North American ticket sales, DVD sales and movie soundtracks.

Dozens of stars are expected to arrive in Hogtown beginning on Thursday — including Shahrukh Khan, who is currently busy promoting his superhero project ‘Ra.One’ and Deol trio Bobby, Sunny and Dharmendra who unite on songs from their film ‘Yamla Pagla Deewana.’

The prestigious IIFAs is staged in different countries each year. Toronto was chosen because Canada has been a popular destination for filming and showcasing Indian films at festivals such as the Toronto International Film Festival. More than 550,000 people of Indian descent live in the GTA.

“It’s the perfect centre where east meets west,” said Joesph. “It has been home to the South Asian and Indian communities for years and at the same time, it provides the perfect setting to engage the community. It really works as the perfect venue.”

More than 22,000 people are expected to attend the festival – with roughly 2,000 flying in from India – pumping more than $15-million into the local economy, said Joesph.

“Bollywood is getting bigger and bigger at the box office,” he said. “There’s more distribution accepting Indian films across North America and more Indian movies are filmed here.”

Events leading up to the event include a tribute to Indian actor, director and producer Raj Kapoor, who will be featured for six weeks at the TIFF Bell Lightbox during a retrospective film series called, Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema.


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