Ashutosh Gowariker’s period epic Jodhaa Akbar swept the 10th IIFA Awards in Macau on Saturday night, winning 11 prizes including best film and best director.
The hit film, which depicts a romance between a Muslim king and Hindu princess, was also awarded best actor for Hrithik Roshan’s performance; best music direction, which went to Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman (Slumdog Millionaire), and a slew of other technical awards.
Priyanka Chopra picked up best actress for Fashion which also took the best supporting actress award for Kangana Ranawat’s performance.
Farhan Akhtar’s Rock On!!, about four guys regrouping their college band, took four awards, including best supporting actor for Arjun Rampal and best cinematography. Ghajini, starring Aamir Khan, also took four awards mainly in the technical categories.
All the winning stars were on hand to collect their prizes, but the night really belonged to the Bachchan family – Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek Bachchan and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachcan – who were continually lauded throughout the lavish five-hour ceremony at the Venetian Macau Resort.
Abhishek Bachchan took the award for best performance in a comic role for Dostana while Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was awarded prizes for Outstanding Achievement in International Cinema and best actress of the decade in the Golden Decade Awards.
Abhishek and Aishwarya also gave dance performances, which were lapped up by the 8,000-strong audience, as did Sonam Kapoor and Bipasha Basu. The audience was also regaled with comic skits, gently poking fun at actors Aamir Khan and Anil Kapoor fresh from his Slumdog Millionaire success, and even lampooning the recent producers’ strike in India.
Rajesh Khanna received a standing ovation when he collected the award for Outstanding Achievement in Indian Cinema.
The three-day awards weekend, which missed no opportunity to promote the Indian entertainment industry and event sponsors, also included a Cirque de Soleil performance, a fashion show, film launches and the one-day Global Business Forum, in which business leaders discussed co-operation between India and China.
Sabbas Joseph, co-founder of IIFAs organiser Wizcraft, estimated that the weekend had attracted 12,000 visitors to Macau, mostly from India and South-East Asia’s Indian communities, and a few thousand more who had turned up to catch a glimpse of the stars but hadn’t bought tickets for the major events.
“We’re delighted with the reception we’ve had here – the people of Macau, the authorities and the media from the region have been extremely supportive,” Joseph said.
Around 40 Chinese media outlets covered the weekend, but Indian cinema still has a long way to go before it attracts Chinese viewers en masse, even though Slumdog Millionaire was a surprise hit on the mainland. Indian films are rarely released in the region and a recent Indo-Chinese film, Chandni Chowk To China, was not a major hit in either territory.
At the business forum, filmmakers discussed future grounds for co-operation between the two territories, but decided that film exchange was preferable to artificially combing elements of the two cultures. “It’s essential that we make our own films, tell our own stories, but we should be able to exchange our films,” said sound technician Resul Pookutty, who won a sound mixing Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire.
FULLLIST OF WINNERS:
Best film:Jodhaa Akbar
Best director:Ashutosh Gowariker – Jodhaa Akbar
Best actor in a leading role: Hrithik Roshan – Jodhaa Akbar
Best actress in a leading role: Priyanka Chopra – Fashion
Best actress in a supporting role: Kangana Ranawat – Fashion
Best actor in a supporting role: Arjun Rampal – Rock On !!
Best performance in a negative role: Akshaye Khanna – Race
Best performance in a comic role: Abhishek Bachchan – Dostana
Best story: Neeraj Pandey – A Wednesday
Outstanding achievement in international cinema – Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Best Female Debut: Asin – Ghajini
Best Male Debut: Farhan Akhtar –Rock On !!
Best Music Direction: A.R. Rahman – Jodhaa Akbar
Best Playback Singer Female: Shreya Ghoshal & Teri Ore –Singh Is Kinng
Best Playback Singer Male: Javed Ali & Jashan-e-Baharaa –Jodhaa Akbar
Best Lyrics: Javed Akhtar & Jashan-e-Baharaa –Jodhaa Akbar
Best Cinematography: Jason West–Rock On!!
Best Editing: Ballu Saluja – Jodhaa Akbar
Best Art Direction: Nitin Chandrakant Desai – Jodhaa Akbar
Best Choreography: Farah Khan – Dostana
Best Action: Peter Heins & Stun Siva – Ghajini
Best Sound Recording: Resul Pookutty & Amrit – Ghajini
Best Sound Re-recording: Leslie Fernandes – Race
Best Song Recording: Purple Haze – Rock On!!
Best Visual Special Effects: Prime Focus– Ghajini
Best Background Score: A. R. Rahman– Jodhaa Akbar
Best Costume Design: Neeta Lulla – Jodhaa Akbar
Best Make Up:Madhav Kadam – Jodhaa Akbar
Best Dialogue: Manu Rishi–Oye LuckyLucky Oye
Best Screenplay: Neeraj Pandey–A Wednesday
GOLDEN DECADE AWARDS:
Best actress: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Best actor: Shah Rukh Khan
Best music: A.R. Rahman
Best director:Rakesh Roshan
Best film: Lagaan