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Bollywood comes to Toronto for the International Indian Film Academy Awards

The 12th annual International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards will be held in Toronto on June 25, marking the North American debut of the celebration. The IIFA will be in the Canadian city between June 23 and 26, and the four-day event will include presentations of Bollywood movies, but the main attraction will be the award ceremony, during which Indian film stars and Bollywood enthusiasts will gather to celebrate the South Asian film world.

Toronto was chosen by the IIFA as the site for this year’s celebrations because Canada has been a major filming location for Indian movies, and the metropolitan area is home to more than 550,000 Indian people, according to the Toronto Sun. Many people will send money online to family and friends who live in the Toronto area so they will be able to attend the film festival. The IIFA has previously held its film festival in Dubai, Johannesburg, Amsterdam and Singapore.

The IIFA was created to promote Indian cinema around the world, and Bollywood, which was a huge success in the 1940’s through the 1960’s, is regaining global ground. The dance-based films are marked by their unique soundtracks, dramatic song-and-dance numbers and brightly colored costumes, which are very influential on popular fashion in India.

Bollywood inspired Australian movie-maker, Baz Luhrman, to produce the movie Moulin Rouge, which led to an explosion of musical cinema in Hollywood. Movies such as Hairspray, Sweeney Todd, Across the Universe, Enchanted and Mamma Mia! followed in the wake of Luhrman’s Hindi-inspired film.

The award ceremony will be hosted by Riteish Deshmukh and Boman Irani, two award-winning Indian actors, the Huffington Post reports. Irani, a comedic performer, won three awards last year – from the IIFA, Filmfare and Star Screen awards ceremonies for his villainous performance in 3 Idiots – and Deshmukh was crowned the Entertainer of the Year at the Zee Cine Awards in 2008. This will be the fourth consecutive year that the two men will host the IIFA Awards.

“I get recognized here far more easily than in Mumbai because in Mumbai I’m only driving to and from work, whereas here I tend to go out on the streets, but it’s fun,” Irani told the Toronto Star. “Canadians are the most polite people on the planet.”

One of the stars who is rumored to be in attendance is Priyanka Chopra, who win the title of Miss World in 2000. Chopra’s first film award came from her third movie, Andaaz, for which she was awarded a Filmfare best female debut award. In 2008, the Indian beauty scored the lead role in Fashion, and she subsequently won multiple awards for best actress at many different film award ceremonies.

The Toronto Sun states that the Indian film industry generates about $100 million in revenue per year in North America. This weekend, more than 22,000 people are expected to be at the festival, and many of the guests will be flying from India to attend. People can make wire transfers to their friends and family members who will be traveling to Toronto so they can pick up some maple candy and other Canadian souvenirs to bring back home.

People who are visiting Toronto for the festival can take a break from Bollywood to explore the Canadian city. They can check out the Toronto Zoo, which is home to more than 460 different species of animals, and visit the CN Tower, which was the world’s tallest tower for 34 years and now comes in fourth at 1815 feet.

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