Starting its journey from London 20 years ago and traversing across major world cities, the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA Awards) will this year travel to Indore, Madhya Pradesh's commercial hub that will host the mega Bollywood event from 27 to 29 March.
This was announced by IIFA organisers in the presence of Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Jacqueline Fernandez and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath at a press conference here.
Salman, who shares deep connect with Indore, will be hosting the three-day event, which mixes glitz, glamour, and marketing, for the first time, the organisers said.
An event related to the IIFA Awards will be held in Bhopal on 21 March, while the main function will be organised in Indore from 27 to 29 March, they said.
This will be the 21st edition of the IIFA Awards which were first presented in 2000 in London. So far, IIFA Award functions have been held in 12 countries in cities like Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore, Colombo, Toronto, Madrid, and Macau.
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The 21st edition of #IIFA Weekend and Awards will be held from 27 - 29 March 2020 in #Indore, #MadhyaPradesh... The awards event will be hosted by #SalmanKhan and #RiteishDeshmukh along with performances by #KatrinaKaif and #JacquelineFernandez. pic.twitter.com/E4DsEVr1Ux
— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) February 4, 2020
— Being Salman Club (@BeingSalmanClub) February 3, 2020
Indore will be only the second Indian city, after Mumbai in 2019, to host the high-profile event, generally a star-studded programme attended by who's who of the Hindi film industry.
Indore is not just the birthplace of legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar but also of Salman.
"Though I was conceived in Bombay (Mumbai) I was born in Indore," said the 54-year-old superstar, sharing his deep connection with the city which has been topping cleanliness ranking for the last few years.
Salman informed that he did his schooling from Indore and Gwalior's Scindia School and added, "Whatever I am today is because of the education that I got here.
The popular filmstar said his five-six generations belong to Madhya Pradesh and reminisced that he used to spend his winter and summer vacations in Indore's Old Palasia area.
With the arrival of IIFA Awards, the entire film industry will converge in the city.
Referring to Nath, he said, The chief minister has so much energy that I won't call him as my elder brother, but younger one."
Nath (73), who played a major role in getting the showcase event to Madhya Pradesh, said, I dedicate this IIFA Awards function to tribals and youths of the state."
The decision of IIFA to host the function has raised the honour of tribal people of the state, the Congress leader added.
Nath said, "Though Madhya Pradesh is not endowed with sea or snow, we have vast forests and rich cultural heritage with good landscape and simple people, which is a major thing."
"We wanted to change the profile of the state. If the identity of the state changes, then it will attract investment which comes with credibility," he said.
Nath advised Jacqueline to visit the Tribal Museum of Bhopal to see the state's diversity.
At the press conference, the chief minister presented a collage of Salman's childhood photos to the actor.
On the occasion, Nath purchased the first ticket of the IIFA Awards function.
Later, Salman, Jacqueline, and Nath addressed a large number of movie fans gathered in the lawns of Minto Hall where the function to announce the IIFA Awards in Madhya Pradesh was held.
With the Filmfare Awards being hosted in Guwahati this year, and IIFA's shift in venue to Indore, it seems the major award functions are taking a step back from choosing lavish outdoor locales to focus on the national venues, emphasising on a need to highlight the diversity of India. There has also been a stark shift of these award functions from the Bollywood capital of Mumbai.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)