South Africa gears up to host another Bollywood awards night

After curtains came down on the Times Of India Film Awards (TOIFA) in Vancouver last week, international audiences can be up for another first-time Bollywood style award function in South Africa, coming up on September 6 this year. Christened South Africa India Film and Television Awards - SAIFTA, the event promises to be a never seen before Indian awards night in Durban, packed with an array of celebrities from Indian film and television industry.

Celebrity Locker Entertainment (CLE) , the official event management company is putting together the event. Through this first of its kind awards ceremony they will bring Bollywood to Durban to felicitate talent from both countries in the sphere of cinema and television.

Kedhar Gawde, who partly owns CLE, is the brains behind SAIFTA. He has directed and choreographed shows for some of the biggest brands in fashion and luxury. He was the first Indian show director to direct in the New York Fashion Week 2013 for South African designer, David Tlale, a few weeks ago.

Gawde is optimistiic when he declares, "The SAIFTA should bring good news for the local film and television industry. Through this event we hope to provide an exciting new cross-cultural exchange between the two countries in entertainment, talent, and technical expertise and film locations."

In fact, the SAIFTA curtain raiser held last month on March 22 recently saw an array of Bollywood celebs such as Farah Khan, Neha Dhupia, Raveena Tandon, Jacqueline Fernandes, Dia Mirza, Shilpa Shirodkar, Richa Chaddha make their presence felt in Durban. Khan in fact is on the SAIFTA judging panel along with other Bollywood personalities such as Waheeda Rehman, Shabana Azmi, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Mukesh Bhatt and Boman Irani.

Farah who was present for the curtain raiser in Durban last month says, "I agreed to be part of this event because I know the people backing it in Mumbai. Plus in South Africa, it is backed by the government of Durban and that gives it legitimacy and certain credibility. It's not some individual organization in SA out to make a quick buck. The other jury panelists are all well-respected members of the film industry here and none of us have any personal agendas of our own."

Farah further adds, "I have to say the curtain raiser was so well organized. It started on time and ended on time. It was a very classy event attended by the who's who in Durban. I was very impressed by the way the whole affair was put up."

Six panelists from South Africa were also present on the occasion -- South Africa's Welcome Msomi (playwright), who has just been appointed director of The KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission; Leleti Khumalo (actress), Linda Bukhosini (CEO and creative director of The Playhouse Company) and Caroline Smart (theatre personality), Saira Essa (TV producer) and Peter Rorvik, former Director of the Durban Film Festival).

Incidentally, IIFA - International Indian Film Academy Awards (established over a decade ago) that will be held on June 1 is also scheduled to be held in Johannesburg in South Africa. One of SAIFTA's aim is to ensure Durban gets boost as a tourist destination since the entire focus of the Bollywood community seems to be on Cape Town and Johannesburg which is where most Bollywood producer's choose to shoot their films when in South Africa.


Posted On : 10 April,2013