Indian cinema reaches global level, says Big B

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Bangkok, Jun 6 (UNI) Bollywood Megastar Amitabh Bachchan today said the Indian cinema has erased communal hatred and its strength lies in binding people together.

Kicking off the ninth International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) weekend here, the Big B, the ambassador of the event, told newspersons here IIFA has now started binding countries together.

Referring to the rousing success of the previous IIFAs, he said the event not only promoted Indian cinema but also strengthened economic improvement of the host country.

He said such events also acted as an ambassador of the country by promoting India's ethos and culture.

He said he was committed to enhance the IIFA phenomenon every year. This year the weekend activities range from high end fashion to ground breaking FICCI, IIFA global business forum. ''I am confident that the IIFA Awards will live up to the expectations and that audiences will experience yet another incredible IIFA this year,'' he added.

Thailand Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat in his remarks said IIFA provided global platform to encourage international interaction and further business opportunities. He referred to the increasing popularity of the country in drawing Indian filmmakers for shooting and said the government, by a recent legislative enactment, had put in place a one shop clearing house to facilitate filmmakers carry out their job in a hassle free environment.

He said as many as 92 Indian films were made in the country and Indian film Industry's contribution to the country's exchequer was 9.3 per cent of 20 million US dollars it had earned last year.

Mr Kowsurat said there was need for greater interaction between the two countries to enhance the volume of trade.

Indian Ambassador in Thailand Latha Reddy highlighted the role of culture in diplomacy and said the Indian Government had decided to have a separate diplomatic channel using culture as a medium to promote relations apart from political, economic and rade relations.

The three-day extravaganza started with a FICCI-IIFA joint workshop on improving the trade relations between the two countries to take the level of trade to 10 billion dollars by 2010 from the current level of eight billion dollars.

The event would also see the world premiere of Big B's latest film 'Sarkar Raj' in which his son Abhishek Bachchan and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan have also acted. The film was directed by Ram Gopal Varma. The event would also act as a platform to promote few other new films, including the Acid factory, Lovestory 2050, Mission Istanbul and De Taali.

A fashion event has been scheduled for tomorrow with leading designers showcasing their creations. The designers include Rohit Bal, Vikram Phadnis, Manish Malhotra, and Sabyaschi Mukherjee. Some of the leading stars of Indian cinema, including Kareena Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ayesha Takia, Vidya Balan, and Ritesh Deshmukh will walk the ramp during the fashion extravaganza. It would conclude with the Awards night on the evening of June 8.

UNI VK NC KN1513

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