Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez was one of many stars on the green carpet – Copyright AFP KARIM SAHIB
Crime thriller “Drishyam 2” won best picture as Bollywood glossed over its latest struggles at the high-octane International Academy of Indian Film Awards in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Director Abhishek Pathak’s gritty remake of a Malayalam film took top honors at the end of a four-hour pumping dance ceremony showcasing the Hindi film industry.
Best Director went to Ranganathan Madhavan for Rocketry: The Nambi Effect. Hrithik Roshan won Best Actor for his role in Vikram Vedha and Alia Bhatt won Best Actress for Gangubai Kathiawadi.
“Brahmastra: Part I – Shiva” won several awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Mouni Roy and Best Female Vocal Performance for star singer Shreya Ghoshal.
The IIFA Awards, aimed at attracting an international audience, was held for the second year in a row in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, where more than a third of its 10 million population is Indian.
In 2019, the Hindi film industry was worth $2.5 billion. India also distributes hundreds of other films in the 21 other official languages, totaling about 1,600 a year.
But Mumbai-based Bollywood, the world’s most prolific filmmaker, has been in crisis since the pandemic and box office receipts have been low since cinemas reopened.
Experts say the rise of streaming services, competition from other parts of India and demand for more lucrative fare than Bollywood’s iconic song and dance shows have all contributed to the downturn.
However, in a positive sign for the industry, superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s “Pathaan” broke Indian box office records in January.
– shiny gold shirt –
Indian cinema also got a boost in March when the viral dance hit “Naatu Naatu” won the Oscar for best song, the first time a film from the country has won the Oscar.
“What does IIFA mean for (Indian) cinema? I think opening up to the global stage also brings us to the global stage, so it’s exciting in both ways,” said Jacqueline Jacqueline, an actress wearing an Arabic-style hijab. Jacqueline Fernandez said.
Among the highlights, the much-anticipated Varun Dhawan took to the stage on a mini quad bike in a shiny gold shirt, while awards show host Vicky Kaushal got the audience screaming as he danced.
Actor and eco-activist Dia Mirza is drawing attention to pressing environmental concerns months before the United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s largest oil producers, hosts the COP28 United Nations climate talks in November and December.
Veteran actor Kamal Hassan was honored for his outstanding achievement in Indian cinema, while Anil Kapoor won Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Jugjugg Jeeyo”.
“Darlings” won best original story, and best female debut went to Khushali Kumar in “Dhokha: Round D Corner.”
The IIFA show is one of many award shows in India and has been held in several countries since its debut in London in 2000. Voting is done online by fans.