Monday, June 27, 2011


Before I go into my write-up, I want to really thank Shellie for being generous enough to snag me a ticket to IIFA as soon as they went on sale and (with her awesome sister J.) for being such a wonderful travel partner!

Okay, so here we go!

Pictures, observations, etc. from the IIFA AWARDS TORONTO 2011 below!

For a full list of winners, click

[Rocking my purple
Fashion Crimes dress!]

In my short time of being a Bollywood fanatic, I have attended a number of concerts and events; every single one of them has started late. So, when the start time on the IIFA ticket said 7pm - I assumed things might get rolling around 7:30 or 7:45 with the opening fluff from the sponsors being over by about 8:30.

The VIP section around 8pm.]

Here is an important life lesson for anyone attending an event that will be dripping with celebrities: It is impossible to herd VIPs anywhere in a timely manner. Start with a base of Indian Stretchable Time and then stretch further in a logarithmic fashion for every VIP attending.

We waited and waited and waited as the VIPs trickled in to their section and stood around chatting with other, despite the fact that the announcer
very clearly came on and told everybody to sit down and then dimmed the lights and then turned them back on and then announced again and then really turned the lights off and it still took at least another 5 or so minutes after the promotional materials began playing for the VIP section to calm down.

Let me tell you, waiting + alcohol free event != a happy crowd.

9pm start time!]

The ceremony opens with a glitter cannon! (Naturellment!)

Our hosts for the evening are Ritiesh Deshmukh, looking dashing in a fitted grey suit, and Boman Irani, who start things off with corny comedic banter about celebs both in attendance and who couldn't be there. This is followed by some speechifying by some non-filmi people (YAWN!) and a giant promo for Ontario complete with dance number.

Finally, after all of the fluff is out of the way, we get down to business - AWARDS AND STARS.

Riteish and Boman do most of the hosting and anchoring but are joined from time to time by Shahrukh Khan (which I suspect was to make up for the fact that he couldn't dance,) Anil Kapoor (to milk the Hollywood connection,) and Karan Johar (just because!)

The way this works is that whoever is hosting will call up on stage between two to three VIPs and stars, who then say some variation of, "What's up, Toronto!" before giving a spiel on the category and announcing the winner. The winner then runs up on stage, hugs the presenters, and says a variation on, "Thank you, Toronto!" The winner then attempts to go back to his or her seat but is (usually) caught and herded off to stage right by staff instead. In between groups of awards we get a handful of dance numbers, some funny banter, pre-taped skits, and Dia Mirza pushing
Love Breakups Zindagi (also starring Zayed Khan!)

Doesn't sound too exciting, right?


While some of the speechifying kind of dragged (if I never see Dia Mirza pitch anything again, it will be too soon) the actual awards and dances and skits were really fun. The crowd (i.e. me) cheered and danced in their seats and psychoanalyzed all the interactions. Have you ever cheered at the top of your lungs for Ranveer Singh and Sonakshi Sinha dancing to "Dhinka Chika?" Because if you haven't, you are missing out in life.

Here are some of the highlights as I remember them:


* When Mamta Sharma won
Best Playback Singer, Female for "Munni," she was visibly overjoyed and excited to be on stage. She led the crowd in a few lines of the song and then yelled out, "Shahrukh, I love you!" and then tried to run back to her seat.

* Arshad Warsi was looking so hot! And he knew he was going to be screwed out of
Best Supporting Actor, Male because he took the time to say his, "What's up, Toronto?!" while he was giving out the award to Mamta.

* This happened. As Shahrukh was trying to leave the stage after the music awards, a guy jumps on stage and clamps himself to Shah's leg. At first we all thought it was planned but as the, "You're hurting my leg. Please move!" became more and more serious, it was apparent that the guy was a stage crasher! We could see him a little as he was hustled off - a normal looking, middle aged guy in a suit, telling Shahrukh that he loved him. Ever the gracious star, Shahrukh asked Mr. Crazy his name as he was being dragged off.

Shahrukh then quips: "This is the problem. Only men grab my thighs."


* What the heck happened to Fardeen Khan?! He announced something or other but I was too distracted by his hair-do to pay attention. And speaking of star kids back from... "summer camp" in America, Esha Deol was on a tight leash. She was dressed in a demure white saree with long flowing hair - an outfit that made me suspect that Hema said something along the lines of, "If you want a second debut, you have to do things
my way."

* Kangana's dance number was enthusiastic but not very technical. She danced to a medley of
Tanu Weds Manu songs.

* Bipasha Basu danced to a medley of "Munni," "Sheila," and "Mit Jaaye Gham." She didn't quite capture those belly moves Kat does but it was a really great performance and her "Mit Jaaye Gham" blew Dippy's out of the water. She was fierce but sexy and (most importantly) looked like she was enjoying herself.

* I still find this kind of hard to accept but people
really like My Name is Khan - screenwriter Shibani Bhatija won best story for it and told a heartfelt anecdote about a guy who overcame his prejudice towards Muslims after seeing the film. No word on anybody changing their minds about African-Americans.

Also, Sridevi, who gave out the award, was really
off. She acted as if she had been replaced with a fem-bot. It was kind of sad.

* I like Karan Johar a lot more for being a good sport about being called up on stage to do this. Although, here is question - why does Riteish Deshmukh always seem to end up in drag?

* Rishi Kapoor gave a really nice introduction to the
Best Debut, Male award for Ranveer Singh.

Ranvver: "This is just the beginning."

Filmi Girl: [Gets goosebumps.]

* Sonakshi Sinha channeled old fashioned glamor.

Ranveer put all the star sons on notice with his amazing dance number. Hands down, this was the highlight of the evening.

He looked really great with Sonakshi!

* Dharmendra was pushing Brand Deol. He gave this long speech after the dance number and the camera kept drifting to show Bobby and Sunny standing behind him with... how to describe the expressions... Bobby looked mildly embarrassed and Sunny looked amused and/or confused.

* Asha Bhosle got an award but only after we had to suffer through a tedious retrospective of hits danced by Priyanka Chopra in a skimpy outfit.

Asha Bhosle is one classy lady. She sang a few bars for us and it was more satisfying (and sassier) than the entire Piggy Chops spectacle.

* Anushka Sharma won
Best Performance, Female.

And the dynamic duo won
Best Jodi or whatever the award is. Anushka had a funny moment where she had to pause for everybody cheering after she thanked Ranveer for being a good co-star. "Yes, yes, we all love Ranveer," said with a tinge of annoyance. I, for one, remain skeptical of all reports of the two of them dating.

* SONU SOOD! He thanked his mother in heaven. HOW DOES ANYBODY NOT LOVE THIS GUY!?

* The finale was
such a tease - I thought it was going to be this big thing with dancing and sparklers and costumes but Shahrukh just strutted around on stage for a bit.

Now, I am completely sympathetic about his hurt knee but what I don't understand is why they didn't get somebody to step in to do that final number and have Shahrukh come on for a chorus of "Deewangi Deewangi" or something. It left the evening on kind of an anti-climax... but then again it could have been because it was
2:15am and we were all tired.

Overall, the awards show was a total blast and I would absolutely attend again next year if it's at all possible... although I might have to sneak a few nips in to make that wait more entertaining!

I have a few more thoughts but I'll save them for my next post...


maxqnz said...

Thanks for all the pix and the write-up, very much appreciated vy those of us who must live vicariously. :)

Interesting to read too that Anushka was detained for 8 hours by Mumbai Customs on her return with undeclared jewellery, etc. Someone tweeted ": Minissha,Bipasha,now Anushka. I think Mumbai Customs have gotten confused over the instruction "Maal check karne ka""

Sal said...

I think this is the second time I LOLed at one of maxqnz's comments; that last sentence was hilarious.
Also, as someone who's watched (and loved) Sridevi onscreen and on public platforms for years, I can tell you the lady is VERY shy. Like, she is nothing like her fun,sassy filmi persona. I remember watching her receive a lifetime achievement award once, and she seemed so hesitant and nervous, and that's how she's seemed out and about for as long as I can remember. But how fantastic does she look! *dies*

Ness said...

oh man, I LOVE bollywood awards shows - thanks for this (SO jealous!).

Amaluu said...

Agree with Sal above. I think Sri lives and breathes through her on-screen characters, because any and all personal appearances she's always been very nervous and uncomfortable. I adore her to death no matter what, but I know that she was labeled an "ice princess" for YEARS because she just isn't as effusive and bubbly as some of her characters are. I chalk it up to the woman just having been through lifelong trauma (can you just imagine what she went through as a child actress/teen actress in an industry like that?) and her guarding her personal life for so long that it's become habit to put on a mask. Maybe she's more like the hurt and bewildered Chandni of the 2nd half of the movie vs. the bright and optimistic Chandni of the 1st half. :-)

No matter what she does, she is flawless to me!

Thanks for sharing your experience!!! It was a blast to read it.

Nerdypanda said...

Filmi Girl, I loved the way you captured the event. Arshad deserved that award. The way I see the IIFA awards are that they are totally rigged. Notice how most of the stars who came actually won in their categories. On the other hand, most of the nominees didn't show up. I think they call the celebrities and tell them that they have won and their presence at the awards is a must. Sorry for long comment. Glad you had a great time there.

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Beth said...

Totally agree on your show break-down/write-up! And those are some really good pictures - you must have been a lot closer than I was! Still cannot quite believe how exhausting that afternoon/evening was. This morning I slept through my alarm, construction on the building next door, and giant flagstones being replaced in the courtyard 20 feet outside my window :)

sujamusic said...

I enjoy Hindi films and their music very much but you won't catch me in an award show ever.... hours and hours of the filmi-duniya is not my thing. So I am very pleased to get this synopsis from you, it was interesting to hear about all your reactions.

eliza bennet said...

Great write up and pics! Thank you.

My impressions:

Riteish and Boman : NOT my dream duo

Bips looks great.

Ranveer and Anushka are very good. Also Anushka's comment is interesting, tiny crack in the good girl image.

Sonu Sood is looking like a zombie. Why so skinny?

Christine Menefee said...

I don't usually enjoy awards shows much but through your eyes I had a blast at this one! You three are such cuties too! Love the pictures of you; your joy is contagious.

I wonder if Fardeen Khan is in training for a new career in villain roles - from that photo, looks like he could be the next great one!

Agree Arshad Warsi should have won that award! What does it take?????

As for MNIK I'm one of the weirdos who actually liked it a lot, and it's nice to know I'm not the only one, but am not so sure it should have won AWARDS compared with some others that are really better movies. I can see a best story award in it though, apart from what happened to the story in the moviemaking process. And it seems strange that it's still getting awards so long after its premier.

As for SRK's big dance number being boring, they seem to get increasingly so over the years and I wonder why he keeps doing these stage dance numbers but I guess it's just a matter of keeping in the public eye. (As I said, awards shows usually bore me.) Anyway, in this case, it might well be that his leg was hurting after that fan-attack; knees are VERY tricky once injured.

Again, thanks so much for your reports! So much sheer vicarious fun.

Bluemay said...

All 3 of you look lovely! Are the other ladies Shell and Dolce? Nice write up!

Jules said...

I couldn't have added anything more to this. I agree that Ranveer's number was the most entertaining, but I enjoyed seeing Shahrukh at the end and thought that it was nice that he didn't want to disappoint his fans and stayed to try to entertain. I couldn't believe people were getting up and walking out already at that point. Aside from the lengthy green-award and the lifetime achievement awards, I thought the rest was really entertaining and surreal.

Kanan said...


Sonu Sood!! *faints*

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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