Bol­ly­wood stars head­ing to Spain

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SHOWBIZ -

MADRID will host the “Bol­ly­wood Os­cars“on June 25, of­fi­cials said re­cently, with Spain hop­ing the glit­ter­ing awards cer­e­mony will help draw more tourists from fast- grow­ing In­dia.

Over 100 Bol­ly­wood stars will at­tend the In­ter­na­tional In­dian Film Academy awards, which is ex­pected to have a world­wide view­er­ship of about 800 mil­lion peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to or­gan­is­ers.

“It is go­ing to be real, real mad­ness,” Anil Kapoor, one of In­dia’s most pop­u­lar ac­tors who starred in Slum­dog Mil­lion­aire, told a news con­fer­ence in Madrid.

“There is a tremen­dous amount of sim­i­lar­ity be­tween the Span­ish peo­ple and In­dian peo­ple. We be­lieve in en­joy­ing life, we be­lieve in fam­ily val­ues, we love to dance.”

The cer­e­mony, first held in 2000, hon­ours the pre­vi­ous year’s films and is filled with over the top per­for­mances. It is held in a dif­fer­ent coun­try each year.

The choice of Madrid to host the event comes as Spain is push­ing to di­ver­sify its tourism base be­yond the tra­di­tional north­ern Euro­pean sun­seek­ers and cap­ture a greater slice of the ris­ing tourism flows from emerg­ing economies like In­dia.

Last year just 85,000 In­di­ans vis­ited Spain but this is nearly a three­fold rise from 30,000 visi­tors in 2011, the di­rec­tor general of Span­ish tourist board Tures­pana, Marta Blanco, said at the pre­sen­ta­tion of the awards show.

“It is a coun­try with great po­ten­tial. We want a bet­ter po­si­tion­ing of our coun­try in this strate­gic mar­ket,” she said.

The In­dian film awards is ex­pected to bring 15,000 visi­tors to Madrid dur­ing the week of the cer­e­mony and gen­er­ate 15mil euros ( RM67mil) in rev­enue, or­gan­is­ers said.

Sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple turned out for a flash­mob hosted by Anil and two other top Bol­ly­wood stars – ac­tress Son­akshi Sinha and heart­throb Hrithik Roshan – in front to Madrid city hall to pro­mote the awards cer­e­mony.

The ac­tors then posted tweeted pic­tures of them­selves eat­ing ja­mon ( ham) at a Madrid mar­ket, danc­ing fla­menco and meet­ing with Real Madrid starts Gareth Bale and Karim Ben­zema at the club’s Bern­abeu sta­dium.

Known for catchy songs and whim­si­cal back­drops, In­dia’s film in­dus­try is thriv­ing com­mer­cially with the coun­try pro­duc­ing over 1,000 movies a year -- more than Hol­ly­wood.

The In­dian in­dus­try sells over four bil­lion movie tick­ets a year, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional In­dian Film Academy award or­gan­is­ers.

The In­dian film awards was held in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia last year. Europe last hosted the event in 2007 when it was held in York­shire, Eng­land. – AFP

In­dian ac­tors ( from left) hrithik, son­akshi and Anil take part in a flash­mob in Madrid, to pro­mote the Bol­ly­wood Os­cars which are sched­uled to take place in the city in June. — reuters

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