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The Bollywood Oscars Are Coming to Tampa Bay

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On April 23 to April 26, the 15th annual International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) weekend and awards will be taking place in Tampa Bay, Florida. The IIFA awards, known as "The Oscars of Bollywood" are the biggest media event that the Indian entertainment industry has, bringing around 800 million viewers every year. The award show honors the previous years films and talent, and is filled with over the top performances. The awards have previously taken place in Dubai, Toronto, London, and for the first time they are coming to the United States of America. Santiago Corrada, President and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay says, "Our entire region is enthusiastically preparing to welcome tens of thousands of visitors to our destination, and we look forward to serving as great hosts to the biggest and best International Indian Film Academy awards in history."

The IIFA weekend and awards will have various events for the Tampa Bay Region. IIFA Stomp will be the first of many IIFA events that week. It will be on April 23, and will be free and open to the public at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. IIFA Stomp will be like a traditional Indian fair with Indian food, crafts, and music by DJ Ravi Drums and DJ Akbar Sami. The organizers hope to bring a taste of India to Tampa Bay.

The awards will be hosted by two of the top Bollywood actors Shahid Kapoor and Farhan Akhtar, both who have previously hosted the award ceremonies. And just like any Bollywood movie, there will be many dance performances all choreographed by dance guru Shiamak Davar who will be opening his first dance studio in New York this fall. Shiamak says "The team at Wizcraft tirelessly puts together a scintillating show that takes Bollywood beyond the Indian shores. The creative freedom I get on the IIFA stage allows me bring my vision to reality and create something new each time. IIFA is a testimony to the fact that the world embraces Indian Cinema and it is a global phenomenon."

Already, 20,000 tickets have been sold to the event, and the organizers believe it will be sold out. The Bollywood fans in America are very excited that the awards will be taking place in the states this year. Nikhil Chothani, an aspiring Bollywood actor from New Jersey says, "He's excited to be able interact with his favorite stars, and that this will help bring more Bollywood recognition to the states."

For more information on the 15th annual IIFA weekend and awards visit www.iifa.com.