Bollywood Super Star Salman Khan starrer Dabangg took the lead at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards, held on Saturday for the first time in North America.Dabangg won Best Picture award and the hugely important music categories for best female playback singer, best male playback singer and best music direction, as well as best screenplay.My Name is Khan, starring Shah Rukh Khan as a Muslim suffering from Asperger's syndrome who is detained at a US airport after his disability is mistaken for suspicious behaviour, got nods for best story and best lyrics. The hit film, nominated in seven categories, also took home the prize for best direction.
Shah Rukh has taken the trophy for Best Actor in My Name is Khan."It is wonderful that I am getting the award from Million Dollar Baby and Slumdog Millionaire actors. Hilary Swank, I love the way you said namaste. I want to thank Karan Johar, Kajol," he said in his acceptance speech. "My Name Is Khan gave me that reason to speak my mind with a role.Karan Johar won the best director award for My Name Is Khan. American actor Cuba Gooding Jr presented him the award."This is my first IIFA award and it's amazing to win it in Toronto. My Name IS Khan is more than a movie, it was therpeutic and it taught me restraint and passion it. Thank you for your votes and thank you to Shah Rukh and Kajol, you have ben a dream team. I dedicate this to my dad. I love him amd miss him terribly," Johar said.
Best supporting actor has gone to the dashing Arjun Rampal for his role in Raajneeti."I completed ten years in the industry this year. It wouldn't have been possible without your continued support," Rampal told the crowd. "I hope that I can be like Dharamji who even after fifty years can entertain his fans."
Anushka Sharma has won the award for Female Leading Role for Band Baaja Baraat."This is overwhelming. Thank you for all Toronto for all that love. Thank you Adi (producer Aditya Chopra) and Maneesh Sharma for believing in me when not many peple did," Anushka said.Indian screenwriter Shibani Bhatija won Best Story for My name Is Khan. "I have seen such great support. It is heartening to know that my story has influenced many peple around the world,"Bhatija said.The award for best dialogue went to the thriller Ishqiya.
Shah Rukh Khan, Anil Kapoor and the Deol family were among the dozens of Bollywood superstars in attendance, along with Oscar-winners Hilary Swank and Cuba Gooding Jr. Salman Khan, however, could not make it to Toronto as he was reportedly shooting his next film Bodyguard, a romantic action movie with Kareena Kapoor."I love you so much," said Mamta Sharma over and over, after winning the award for best female playback singer for the song Munni Badnam.The IIFA awards this year is one glittering affair. Performer Priyanka Chopra was at her sensual best as she paid a musical tribute to Asha Bhosle, who said: "Every time I get an award, it spurs me to work more please remember me as a person with a gold heart."
Sonakshi Sinha won the Best Debutante award for Dabangg. "I want to thank my parents who are not here. I want to also thank Arbaaz, Abhinav Kadhyap, Sohail and Salman for believing in me," Sinha said.Priyanka Chopra was honoured for her contribution to a greener Earth. "What you do for your planet is what you do for yourself," she said in her acceptance speech.Dharmendra was given the lifetime achievement award.Best performance in a comic role went to Riteish Seshmukh for Housefull. “Thank you Sajid Khan for believing in me. Who said awards are not fixed - if you host awards for four years at IIFA, u will get it right," he joked.Sonu Sood was awarded Best Performance in a Negative Role in Dabangg. "This is a dream come true. Want to thank Salman bhai, my wife Sonali. Thank you so much, this is for my dad sitting in Punjab,” Sood said.
The award for Outstanding Achievement by an Indian in International Cinema went to Irrfan Khan. “Let me first salute to Toronto if there was an award for best audience it should go to you," he said.The Hottest Pair award was chosen by viewers of the Star Plus channel. It went to Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh. Though Lisa Ray called her Anushka Shankar – oops! "I want to thank my writers who created the chemistry between us,” said Sharma."Thanks Anushka for making me hot," added Singh.The Best Playback Singer award went to Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for Dabangg, while Mamta Sharma was named Best female Playback singer, also for Dabangg. The Best Lyrics award went to Niranjan Iyengar for My Name Is Khan.
Bollywood gangster movie Once Upon a Time in Mumbai had led the field in the nominations with 12 in categories including best film and best male lead for Ajay Devgan, one of Bollywood's leading actors.Dabangg was close behind with 11 nominations. Other movies still in the running for a clutch of awards include the drama Ishqiya with nine nominations.Romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat and the thriller Rajneeti both had eight. The nominations came from more than 1,500 votes from the Indian film fraternity.The IIFA Launched in 2000 at the Millennium Dome in London, the annual IIFA awards have been held in 11 cities around the world, including Colombo, Macao, Bangkok, Dubai, Amsterdam and Johannesburg.It is designed to celebrate the popular Hindi-language film industry and win new audiences abroad.