Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


Tampa Theatre
Photo by Sonia Kallarakal

The historic downtown Tampa Theatre.



“The magic begins now,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “We are happy to celebrate Indian culture and movie making and we are gonna do it better than any city.”

For the doubters who asked why Tampa, “Why not Tampa?” was the common sentiment by the contingent with Anil Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra on day two in Tampa of their three-city tour, including Los Angeles and New York, to promote IIFA Tampa 2014 celebrations. After all, the west coast Florida city has hosted five Super Bowls, last year’s Republican National Convention during a hurricane threat and the Stanley Cup with tremendous success.

The historic Tampa Theatre in downtown was the venue for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards kickoff celebrations. The IIFA Weekend & Awards will be April 24-26 in Tampa.

The press meet was attended by Hillsborough County Commissioner Al Higginbotham, Indian Consul General Ajit Kumar, Visit Tampa Bay CEO Santiago Corrada, Tampa Host Committee Chair Dr. Kiran Patel and IIFA management. Corrada said the journey of bringing IIFA to Tampa started eight months ago and has taken 15 years to arrive in the United States. “We have a huge responsibility. Thank you IIFA for bestowing a great gift on our community,” he said.

A friend of IIFA for 15 years, actor Anil Kapoor expressed his gratitude to Tampa. “It’s a fabulous city in fabulous Florida,” he said. “IIFA will bring glamor, business, networking fashion, a platform to promote our films. It’s going to the best and biggest.”

Tampa Theatre
Photo by Sonia Kallarakal

Priyanka Chopra and Anil Kapoor.

Tampa Theatre
Photo by Hemant Pandya

IIFA management, city/county officials, Tampa mayor
and Drs. Patel at the press meet in Tampa

For Priyanka Chopra, Florida is her most favorite state in the United States. “I am super excited,” she announced. “I frequent Miami and had never been to Tampa. IIFA is an experience that will touch you emotionally. It’s a big weekend party!”

In addition to the three-day event, on April 23, “IIFA Stomp” will take place at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown. The free Bollywood dance music festival will be open to the public.

IIFA revealed that the 15th annual awards will be co-hosted by Farhan Akhtar and Shahid Kapoor. Other confirmed performers are Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Sonakshi Sinha, Pritam and Yo Yo Honey Singh. Other star attendees will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets went on sale Jan. 14 on Ticketmaster. Prices range from about $93 to $3,295 (including surcharge/taxes). Nearly 6,500 were sold in the first two hours after they went on sale.

For updates, visit www.iifa.com

IIFA Weekend & Awards to be held April 24-26 in Tampa


Last summer, it was announced that Tampa would be the venue for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend & Awards in 2014 leading to much excitement for Indian film lovers in Florida. After much anticipation, the dates and itinerary were made public: April 24-26. IIFA will be making its debut in the United States where fans and enthusiasts of Indian cinema from around the world can expect to see their favorite stars descend into Tampa during the weekend and witness one of Indian Cinema's largest events unfold in the city.

A tremendous demand for tickets is expected and played a part in venue selections.

Earlier this year, key delegates from Visit Tampa Bay, including Santiago Corrada (president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay) travelled to Mumbai and New Delhi to forge crucial ties in India with IIFA before the event in April. Corrada and IIFA officials discussed many details, anticipating special arrangements that needing to be addressed to host India’s celebrated dignitaries, business leaders and Bollywood’s A-list celebrities.

Andre Timmins, director of Wizcraft and IIFA, said, “We are thrilled to be making our debut into the United States of America and preparations for this very special IIFA weekend are well underway. We have been overwhelmed by the kind of enthusiasm and support that we have received from across the region. The unprecedented demand for IIFA has been tremendous and has created the need to take IIFA Awards to the largest possible venue in the city and bring forward the dates for the IIFA Weekend.”

Organizers say with world-class infrastructure and facilities and having hosted a myriad of international concerts, events and the Super Bowl four times, Tampa Bay is an ideal choice for the 15th IIFA Weekend & Awards. Corrada of Visit Tampa Bay said, "We are extremely excited to join Wizcraft/IIFA in announcing the official dates, venues… Our teams have worked together diligently over the past six months to ensure a successful production in Tampa Bay. Our entire region is enthusiastically preparing to welcome tens of thousands of visitors to our destination, and we look forward to serving as great hosts to the biggest and best International Indian Film Academy awards in history."

Having played a large hand to bring the IIFA ceremony to Tampa Bay, the cardiologist, philanthropist, community leader and strong supporter of IIFA, Dr. Kiran Patel was instrumental in bringing the Indian community together in Florida and specifically Tampa, to support cinema and IIFA.

And the next question on everyone’s mind, how to get tickets. A multi-city press conference is expected in mid-January to reveal the ticket sale information. Join us on facebook or visit www.khaasbaat.com for the latest details as they are announced.

About IIFA (International Indian Film Academy)

Conceptualized and produced by Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. and supported by the key members of the Indian film fraternity. IIFA is a global platform that gives the Indian film fraternity an opportunity to reach international audiences. The alliances made by IIFA aim to establish a system of mutual benefit to India, as well as the host destination by boosting tourism, economic development, trade, culture, cross-border investments and film co-productions. The IIFA Awards are among the world’s most-watched entertainment events with a viewership of almost 600 million. Visit www.iifa.com

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