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G.I.F.A. 2006, a roundup

By: Taran Adarsh&Asif Merchant, IndiaFM
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Now that the 2nd G.I.F.A. Awards have concluded and all sorts of articles -- positive and negative -- are doing the rounds of the Indian media, it's time to sit down and analyze what clicked and what didn't at this year's mega event.

Having attended I.I.F.A., Zee Cine Awards and G.I.F.A. since their inception for many years now, I am a little pained at the derogatory articles that keep coming out after each event concludes. Most of these articles, I presume, are the handiwork of those who aren't on the guest-list. Their mantra is simple: Tum humko nahin maante, hum tumko nahin jaante!

Believe me, it's very easy to sit on this side of the fence and say that the arrangements were bad or the food was atrocious or the award ceremony was pathetic, but does anyone realize the kind of hard work and planning that goes into every event of this magnitude? I.I.F.A., Zee and G.I.F.A. are at least making a sincere attempt to take Hindi cinema global and if at all there are any minor hiccups and glitches, is it right to crucify them?

Let me talk of G.I.F.A., since it's this event that's the punching bag presently! Agreed, the first G.I.F.A. Awards in Dubai had its share of problems and controversies, but the 2nd G.I.F.A. Awards in KL, Malaysia were really well organized. Right from the travel arrangements to the hospitality to the grand event, Suniel Shetty and the Popcorn team worked day and night to ensure that the weekend was spectacular and people came back with rich memories. At least I did... and I know of a lot of people who felt that Suniel worked tirelessly to make this event a major success.

Believe me, if there was any star that shined the brightest at G.I.F.A., it wasn't Shah Rukh, Salman or Abhishek. It was Suniel Shetty, who, despite being praised by the royalty and ministers, didn't hog the limelight even once. He was a silent worker!

Okay, now let's get into what really worked and what could've been better! Sanjay Gupta's press meet was an eye-opener. Gupta keeps surprising you every time you meet him. At I.I.F.A., Dubai this year, Gupta announced a series of films and at G.I.F.A., six months later, he announced that he'd be releasing three films, one after the other, in the first half of 2007.

The Baabul premiere was one of the finest [and extravagant] events I have attended in my career as a film journo. The venue was packed with fans and yet, the stars were escorted to their seats without any unruly behavior. The cheering crowd went berserk at the sight of Salman, John and Bipasha, but not one person misbehaved. And the arrangements were truly fantastic!

The other major event -- the awards ceremony -- was equally impressive. I feel, the script of the hosts [Arbaaz Khan, Rohit Roy, Minissha Lamba, Ria Sen] could've been better and wittier, but the event that started at 9 p.m. and ended at 3 a.m. was truly electrifying. If Shah Rukh had the crowd eating out of his hands, Salman was rocking as well. Abhishek too proved that he's a sure-fire hit on stage. Katrina was a pleasant surprise, Priyanka's act was tame, while Amisha didn't appeal since she didn't have fresh tracks to support her.

If asked to give G.I.F.A. 2006 a rating on a scale of five, I'd give it four stars for the simple reason that G.I.F.A. delivered what it promised -- loads of entertainment!

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