Bollywood is Coming to Florida

08.25.13

Bollywood is Coming to Florida

08.25.13
Yash Raj FilmsYash Raj Films

The 2014 International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Award show will be held in the United States. The news about this widely popular Bollywood event spread all over the United States and created a wave of anticipation among Indian expats living in the United States. At the end of the 14th IIFA award show in Macau, Abhishek Bacchan announced that the next IIFA award show would be held in Tampa, Florida in June of 2014.

This event will bring hundreds of Bollywood movie stars from Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay and the capital of the Hindi film industry in India, to the Tampa Bay area. Mumbai is the place where majority of the Hindi movies are produced and it has been nicknamed “Bollywood” to rhyme with Hollywood where most American movies are produced. It will be the 15th IIFA award show, the Oscar version of India’s film industry, which has been traveling to different parts of the world for the last 14 years. Cities like London, Toronto, Bangkok and Johannesburg have all hosted this event in the past. Next year, it will also be the 101st anniversary of the Indian film industry, which produces hundreds of movies every year in more than a dozen different languages.

The Indian movie industry is almost as old as Hollywood’s. The Indian film, Raja Harishchandra, was released in 1913. Although India’s film industry produces more movies than Hollywood, the revenue remains less than $4 billion annually compared to the $51 billion generated by Hollywood movies. Indian movie actors also earn less compensation for their work compared to their Hollywood counterparts.

Indian movies are very popular beyond the countries of the Indian sub-continent and they are watched by hundreds of millions people around the world. The United States is one of the largest overseas markets for Indian films and Indian artists perform many live shows and concerts in the United States every year. But the IIFA Award show will be the biggest Bollywood event ever held in the United States.

According to reports, Melbourne, Australia, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi were also in contention for the next year’s IIFA Award show, but IIFA organizers decided to choose Tampa. The Tampa Bay area is also the home to a vibrant Indian community of approximately 25,000 residents and the hosting of this four-day IIFA event in Tampa is a result of persuasive effort of local Indian community leaders and representatives of Hillsborough County. The event will afford Indians the opportunity to see their favorite film stars singing, dancing and performing live on the stage and playing the proverbial national pastime for many Indians, cricket. It is hoped by many that the event will help dispel many of the myths surrounding Bollywood films.

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