Despite a call by the Tamil film fraternity to boycott this year’s IIFA awards in Colombo this weekend, organisers and Bollywood stars who have decided to attend the event say ‘they will go ahead, no matter what’.
“These protests won’t affect us, as the response that we’re getting, not just from India, but abroad is humongous,” says Sabbas Joseph of Wizcraft, the show’s organiser. Asked to reveal the list of participating celebs, he said, “We have invited the whole industry, but cannot confirm individual participants.”
“I’m excited about IIFA happening in Sri Lanka. It’s supposed to be beautiful. We are unveiling the first look of our film Lamha and I am performing as well,” said actress Bipasha Basu.
Actress, Lara Dutta, who is co-hosting the show with Riteish Deshmukh and Boman Irani, also sounded least affected by the protests. “We are happy that IIFA this year is at a destination close to home — Sri Lanka. I’ll have a great time and let my hair down,” she said. Deshmukh, too, said, “Going to Colombo is not an individual decision. I will stand by IIFA wherever they go.”
The IIFA weekend, between June 3 and June 5, will kick-start with a Fashion Extravaganza, followed by a charity cricket match, to be played between Bollywood stars and Sri Lankan cricketers. Captain of the IIFA XI Team and actor Hrithik Roshan said, “It is a great honour to play with Sri Lankan cricketing greats.”