Will IIFA influence Ontario elections?
The Indi International an Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Toronto may play a huge role in the re-election of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in the October elections.india Updated: Jun 25, 2011 13:28 IST
The Indi International an Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Toronto may play a huge role in the re-election of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in the October elections.
The premier, described as "a great friend of India", went to Mumbai in 2008 to woo IIFA organizers to come to Toronto.
With his political fortunes in the doldrums and the politically influential Indian Canadians dumping his Liberal Party for the first time (as proved in the May general elections), the premier has pumped $12 million into the show to reap political benefits.
And, not surprisingly, most green-carpet ceremonies and world premieres have been allotted to the Indian-dominated city of Brampton, which sends quite a few Indian Canadians to the Ontario assembly.
The premier of Canada's most important province was his charming best at the opening of the IIFA show Thursday.
Recalling his Mumbai visit, the premier said: "I found myself surrounded by dozens of photographers in the cool night air. The camera flashes in my face were mesmerizing, overwhelming, intoxicating, lovely - until one of the photographers distinctly said to me 'Sir, you are ruining my shot of Celina Jaitley'. I have never recovered from that."
He added: "But in truth, that night, I truly began to understand what Indian cinema is all about. It's about more than glamour, action and drama. It is about magic ... the kind that happens when the lights go down and the stars come out. It is about stories that are universal and that bring us together, that help us celebrate out shared humanity."
The happy-snappy premier could be seen cozying up to Mallika Sherawat and Bipasha Basu on the stage.