IIFA in Mumbai: Homecoming or Economic Slow Down?

The International Indian Film Academy awards, popularly known as the IIFA awards, started in London in 2000. Over the past 20 years, it has travelled to over 12 countries and 16 cities. IIFA’s vision has been to overcome boundaries and reach out to an international audience. In 2008, the 10th edition of the IIFA awards, for example, was held in Macau and most recently, it was held in Thailand. This time, IIFA 2019 has shifted base to aamchi Mumbai. Yes, the globe-trotting desi filmi extravaganza is being held in India for the first time in two decades.

The organisers of IIFA 2019, Wizcraft International Entertainment, are calling this a “homecoming” though they have never given an official reason as to why the IIFA awards are being held in India this year.

Some Twitter users are ascribing the decision to the economic slowdown. So, could it be that IIFA 2019 did not find a sponsor this year?

Did you know that countries actually bid to hold the IIFA awards in their cities? It’s an exercise done with the hope of boosting tourism to these destinations. The highest bidder wins the chance to have a three-day Bollywood extravaganza in one of their cities.

According to a few media reports, IIFA 2019 was supposed to be held in Kathmandu in Nepal. However, the news received a lot of criticism online. According to reports, the Nepal government was supposed to pay for the air tickets, hotel stay and security of all the Bollywood stars and their entourage who would be attending the awards show. The expenditure for the IIFA awards was reportedly an estimated $4 million! Following the backlash, the Nepal government allegedly rescinded their decision to host the awards.

However, the show organisers Wizcraft have denied that Nepal was confirmed as the official host for IIFA 2019. In July, Andre Timmins, Director, Wizcraft International, told Zee News that Nepal was only one among several destinations in the running to host the awards this year.

According to a report in Business Times, Sri Lanka spent around 1.1 billion Sri Lankan rupees to host the IIFA awards in Colombo in 2010 of which over Rs 850 million was provided by the treasury while the balance came from sponsors. It also suggests that IIFA spends around Rs 840 million per event every year to hold its awards ceremony. So was no one willing to pick the tab this year?

(Source: Business Standard, Business Times, Zee News)

. Read more on Bollywood by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsWorld C’ships: Vinesh Bags a Bronze, Pooja Loses Semi-final . Read more on Bollywood by The Quint.