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Culture

Hindu-Muslim love story sweeps 'Bollywood Oscars'

Text by Daphné SEGRETAIN

Latest update : 2009-06-17

India's movie stars gathered in the southern Chinese territory of Macau over the weekend to attend the 'Bollywood Oscar' ceremony. It was the occasion for the world's second biggest film industry to show the world its many facets.

For the past three days, the 10th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) in the southern Chinese territory of Macau has offered a wide array of film premieres, fashion shows and forums, culminating in an award ceremony watched by 500 million people across the world.

 

Love story is big winner of the day

"Jodhaa Akbar", a historical drama featuring a romance between a Muslim emperor and a Hindu princess – played by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan – swept six awards, including best director, best actor and best picture. "When I started this movie I was advised by all my friends not to make this film," Gowariker explained. But the film’s massive popularity "reinstated my faith that we do need a Hindu-Muslim alliance."
 
Actress Priyanka Chopra, the 2000 Miss World, won a best actress award for her role as a former model in “Fashion”, while Aishwarya Rai, another former Miss World, was crowned “best actress of the decade.”


 


Actor Anil Kapoor, who plays a cynical game show host in the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, took the stage at the end of the five-hour ceremony. Just like in a Bollywood movie, there were musical and dancing performances galore. "It is a well-established fact that India produces the greatest number of films in the world today,” Kapoor told the audience. “Needless to say, Indians are crazy about cinema."

 
Kisses on foreheads and reincarnations

 
The Hindi film industry produces close to 800 movies a year, compared to 500 in the US, making Indians the world’s most eager moviegoers. Close to 15 million people go at least once a day to the cinema, according to Jonathan Torgovnic, the author of Bollywood Dreams (Phaidon Press, 2003). Mixing dance, music, and traditional costumes, Bollywood draws inspiration from the American film industry and adjusts scenes to its own culture. Hence, kisses on the forehead replace kisses on the lips, and movies often end with the reincarnation of one of the characters.
In a country that counts over 3,000 different dialects, musicals have become a recurrent feature of the industry. Stars, who tend to be both accomplished actors and dancers, are literally worshipped by the crowds, who plaster city walls all over the country with posters of their idols.

 
 

Date created : 2009-06-14

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