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Big B to launch to IIFA weekend

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Mumbai (UNI): The International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) weekend will be held in Yorkshire in United Kingdom in June next year and an official announcement to this effect will be made tomorrow in the House of Commons in the British Parliament.

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan, IIFA's Brand Ambassador, will address dignitaries, including Secretary of State, Tessa Jowell, Leader of the House Jack Straw, and High Commissioner of India to the UK Kamlesh Sharma to celebrate the return of the IIFA Weekend to the UK. The first IIFA weekend had taken place in the Millenium Dome in London.

As the leading location for investment in Europe, dignitaries will speak about the economic benefits for both national and regional business partnerships with India. One of the key members of the Indian delegation is Mr Sanjeev Aga, President of Birla Nuevo, one of India's leading investors in Britain. Judith Donovan, chairperson for the Yorkshire Tourism Board and Tom Riordan from Yorkshire Forward will announce details of IIFA Weekend and the anticipated impact for Yorkshire business and tourism, a press release issued here today said.

Mr Bachchan, who was voted BBC's Superstar of the Millennium in 2000 pushing behind Hollywood's biggest stars and heartthrobs, will focus on the rising popularity of Indian cinema as a major global business, with an estimated global audience for the IIFA Awards in 2007 of over 480 million.

Now in its eighth year, the IIFA Weekend has previously visited Amsterdam, Dubai, Singapore, London, Malaysia and South Africa. As a direct consequence of the IIFA celebrations, tourism and business investment to each of these destinations has increased tremendously, making a major impact. Yorkshire was successful in its bid to attract the event organizers attention and Prime Minister Tony Blair supported the bid presentation.

The House of Commons launch event will be followed by a five-city launch the next day in the company of the Mayors of York, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford, who will flag off the IIFA Weekend announcement along with Amitabh Bachchan. The five-city launch will be held at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television (NMPFT), Bradford.

Previous IIFA Weekend events have hosted some of the world's major celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan, Shekhar Kapur, Ashok Amritraj, Jean Claude Van Damme, Bo Derek, Aishwarya Rai, Shah Rukh Khan and others. IIFA Weekend celebrations, which were launched at the Millennium Dome in 2000, have travelled across South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Amsterdam and Dubai.

IFFI 2006

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