Make us your home page

IIFA 'Magic' both late and great

Miss America Nina Davuluri signs autographs and poses for pictures with fans Friday on the green carpet before the IIFA Magic of the Movies event at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.


Miss America Nina Davuluri signs autographs and poses for pictures with fans Friday on the green carpet before the IIFA Magic of the Movies event at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.


Bollywood can give Hollywood lessons in making award shows entertaining, judging from Friday's Magic of the Movies and Technical Awards at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre.

Lesson No. 1: Don't cram everything into one night. The International Indian Film Academy is saving the best for tonight's finale at Raymond James Stadium, when the star-studded "popular" categories will be decided. Bringing us to …

Lesson No. 2: Don't worry so much about artists who aren't celebrities. IIFA declared winners in crafts like cinematography and sound mixing nearly two months ago, leaving lots of time Friday for music and dancing, boisterously performed with nothing but entertainment on the line.

That's lesson No. 3 for the Oscars, where fun often goes to die.

Of course, there are lessons IIFA could take from the Oscars, like red (or in this case, green) carpet management and clockwork timing. Not hurrying is as foreign to Americans as Deepika Padukone, but seems to work for stars on IIFA holiday.

The show's planned 7 p.m. start never had a chance, while an estimated crowd of 6,000 fans waited. Even co-host Vir Das arrived 45 minutes past that time. And he was among the first wave of luminaries.

Part of the delay was heightened security that called for all vehicles entering the backstage area to be inspected by bomb-sniffing dogs while officers on horseback watched over the dropoff area.

As night fell, the star quotient rose dramatically, among them Bollywood actors Sonu Sood and Sridevi, Miss America Nina Davuluri, even a Baldwin brother (Stephen). The crowd chanted the name of India's Olympic hero, Milkha Singh, subject of the night's big winner, Bhaag Milkha Bhagg.

The show finally began a few minutes before 9, with Das and Saif Ali Khan kicking off the evening with comedy, mostly in Hindi, followed by heartthrob Farhan Akhtar performing the evening's first song, backed by impressive lighting effects. Akhtar played Singh in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, giving him a hug during the song.

Within an hour, fans were dancing away the delay, shimmying to the tones of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in the upper regions of the amphitheater.

Friday's centerpiece was a tribute to singer Khan, for his Bollywood playback recordings topping Indian pop charts. Think of Kenny Loggins' '80s soundtrack success but with an exotic, ethereal sound. Raised in a musically royal family, Khan began performing at age 3, carrying on a tradition of Qawwali, devotional hymns for Muslim Sufis.

Khan, 40, is known to U.S. audiences through his work on the soundtracks of the Academy Award winner Dead Man Walking — collaborating with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder — and 2002's The Four Feathers, alongside Oscar winning composer James Horner. Khan also added his distinctive tones to Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, and a track on the Derek Trucks Band album Joyful Noise.

Between musical numbers, winners in 14 technical categories picked up trophies they were promised in February. Leading the pack was the fact-based sports drama Bhaag Milkha Bhaag with nine awards including screenplay, cinematography, editing, costumes and two sound categories.

Friday's award hoarding plus 10 "popular" nominations, leading all contenders for today's awards, make Bhaag Milkha Bhaag the odds-on favorite to win the best picture prize.

Trophies were also presented Friday to the superhero adventure Krrish 3 (best action, visual effects), and Chennai Express for best song recording and sound mixing, in a tie with Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

Times staff writer Caitlin E. O'Conner contributed to this report. Steve Persall can be reached at or (727) 893-8365. Follow @StevePersall on Twitter.

IIFA 'Magic' both late and great 04/25/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 25, 2014 11:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Taste of Tampa Bay: Pam's Roti Shop and Caribbean Market in St. Petersburg

    Food & Dining

    Pam Prasad, who is originally from Guyana, runs Pam's Roti Shop and Caribbean Market on 38th Avenue N in St. Petersburg with her two sons. Prasad loves to educate her customers about her food, customs and culture. The place is known for its variety of roti combinations, goat dishes and spices.

    Pam Prasad makes roti at Pam's Roti Shop at 2800 38th Ave N. in St. Petersburg. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. Plan your weekend: June 30-July 2: Vans Warped Tour, fireworks, corgi races, Guardian Con, Dan TDM


    Plan your weekend

    Vans Warped Tour: The shirtless and inked-up masses will once again descend upon St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park on Saturday to mosh and thrash to dozens of bands across seven stages. This year brings the likes of Gwar, thrash group Municipal Waste, Southern metal band Valient …

    Corgi in the grass; Dog playing the the grass;
  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Fourth of July celebrations firing off all around Hillsborough


    Apollo Beach

    Food Truck Festival celebrates fourth

  5. Channelside, downtown sight of holiday festivities


    CHANNEL DISTRICT — The City of Tampa's largest Independence Day celebration, Light Up Tampa Bay, returns to Channelside Plaza on Tuesday with fireworks, live music, entertainment, face painting and food trucks.

    Fireworks explode over Channelside during last year’s July 4th celebration.