Producer and CBFC chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani is not a fan of the International Indian Films Academy(IIFA)awards.
In fact he says he has boycotted what he considers an “international farce” that lost its relevance with Amitabh Bachchan opted out .
Says Nihalani, “I used to be on their advisory board for 12 years. The whole concept of an international Indian awards was incepted with Mr Bachchan’s global image in mind. He was the face of IIFA until he decided to opt out when there was Tamil protest over the awards being hosted in Sri Lanka.”
Now, Nihalani is dismayed to see senior individuals from Mumbai’s film industry being ridiculed at IIFA. “I think the day Mr Bachchan opted out IIFA lost its dignity and relevance.In 18 yearshow much global impact has Indian cinema made and what hand did IIFA have in this?’”
Nihalani feels the IIFA lost its bearings and relevance. “After Bachchan Saab’s exit IIFA became just one more awards function, and a very expensive one at that. It is nothing more than an all-expenses paid holiday for our film industry at some exotic spot of the world every year.”
Nihalani is worried about the mounting expenses. “It is our foreign exchange being squandered as every top star is given tickets for his spouse, children, parents , ayahs, bodyguards, friends, friends of friends .…. I’ve heard stars are even given shopping money.Who is paying for all this? IIFA is selling Indian cinema to various countries and probably getting many financial benefits. But is the Indian government benefiting from this global event?”
Nihalani also challenges IIFA’s claim of representing Indian cinema. “Initially we had cinema from various states getting token representation.Now we only have Bollywood. So why do they call themselves the International Indian films awards? It’s such a sham! Bollywood is not Indian cinema.”