Madrid a strong contender for IIFA 2016, says awards director Andre Timmins

IIFA recently held their first awards for the south Indian film industry and it got off to a great start in Hyderabad. The International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) are moving into their 17th year and the IIFA Utsavam 2016 was a feather in their cap. The first edition of the IIFA Utsavam showcased some fantastic performances and honoured the uber talented south actors, technicians and others who are associated with the Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu film industries. The IIFA Awards kicked off in London in 2000 and has set an exceptionally high standard. The IIFA Awards are helmed by Wizcraft Entertainment International. One of the key founder-directors of Wizcraft Entertainment International is Andre Timmins, Director. In an exclusive chat with dna, Andre Timmins talks about what makes IIFA a prestigious awards event and what we can look forward to at IIFA 2016.

What is new at the 17th edition of IIFA this year?

We try to bring something new to each IIFA and this year too there are going to be a few surprises. This may be the year that we look at a destination in Europe as that’s a market that we want to enter. We want to go to a destination that encompasses all of the things that Indians like, for instance, good food, great culture and a country that will be exciting for the Indian audiences. So I think what’s going to be exciting for our film stars and people from India is that they are going to celebrate Indian cinema in a destination that’s very much like India.

Why is Madrid, Spain one of the chosen places for IIFA this year?

We were discussing 3-4 destinations and Madrid is one of the strongest bidders. I think one of the reasons to go into Madrid and choosing it is because a) it’s a European country capital b) they are a huge tourist destination and the fact that it is the 60th year of our relationship with them, our PM is also going there in June. So I think all these things make it one of the best destinations for this year, it’s all very exciting.

spain iifa

Deputy Mayor, Mr Luis Cueto -City Hall Administration, Cristina Cifuentes – President of Community of Madrid (regional government) and Queen Letizia, Queen of Spain.

IIFA Awards are known for their performances. How will IIFA 2016 be in terms of performances?

Well, there are going to be lots of exciting performances. We are looking at integrating the some of the local cultural elements into performances and getting some big stars to do this. And you have to guess what it is going to be because it’s very close to what some of our Indian stars have done in movies recently.

How do you make sure that IIFA awards stand out from the rest of the awards events?

IIFA is a three day festival and we blend business, workshops, education, volunteer programmes, etc. We have an environment-friendly stance, we have a green carpet and of course, the cherry on the cake is the awards. I think the whole experience of making it a festival and exporting India to the world, that makes the difference from any other awards that happen in India. Those that happen in India are purely awards for any television channel or magazine where they cater to their own needs and don’t go beyond the business of cinema. They are selling Bollywood in India. IIFA actually translates this into box office and business for productions, shooting for our industry. So we bring lot of value and that makes a huge difference.

So IIFA is about taking Bollywood to the global audience.

The fact is that we go on to new destinations, open the market for both cinema, business and for our fans who can touch and really connect with our stars. In today’s world, everything is through Instagram, Twitter and through various sources but here they get to meet their stars in real life. And that’s what we do!