New Delhi, May 8 (UNI) Superstar Amitabh Bachchan today said over the years, the International Indian film Academy (IIFA) awards, considered in film circles as the ''Indian oscars'' had served to bring various cultures and communities together.
''What started as a celebration of Indian Cinema beyond Indian shores has now culminated into a tool to bring people of various cultures and communities the world over, closer to India,''Mr Bachchan said at a press meet in the Capital to announce the eighth edition of the IIFA awards to be held in Yorkshire in Britain on June 10.
Endorsing Mr Bachchan's views, Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor, who along with former Miss Universe Lara Dutta is engaged in the search for the lucky two who will be given a makeover in 'Idea Star Ki Talash contest' at IIFA this year, said,''since its inception in the year 2000, IIFA has been striving to build bridges between cultures.
It has been able to create an International platform where people have been looking at Indian cinema with love.
Infact, the overwhelming response to the 'Idea Star Ki Talash' is a testimony to the burgeoning popularity of IIFA across the globe.'' On this occasion, the ten semi-finalists of the 'Idea IIFA Star Ki Talash' contest, including five boys and five girls, were unveiled by Mr Bachchan and Mr Kapoor.
Two lucky winners will be chosen from among the ten shortlisted nominees of the contest. The journey of the two selected winners will be shown through a reality show on Star TV.
Like every year, this year's IIFA awards ceremony, to be hosted by former Miss Universe Lara Dutta and the ''comedy kingpins of Bollywood'' Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani, will be preceded by a IIFA weekend including a host of exhilarating events like the IIFA foundation celebrity cricket match between the IIFA celebrity team and a UK celebrity cricket team and the FICCI-IIFA global business forum.
Captained by Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan, the IIFA team will comprise cricket legend kapil Dev, Mohammed Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja, Rakyesh Mehra, Shaan, Emran Hashmi, Sohail Khan, Dino Morea, Hrithik Roshan, Arshad Warsi, Anil Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan and many others, Director of Wizcraft International Sabbas Joseph told mediapersons.
A special feature of this year's awards is that the IIFA, recognising the importance of tackling the spectre of Global warming, has introduced an IIFA Bond for Global Cool which encourages individuals across the world to reduce Green House Gas emissions by one tonne a year.