Rang de Basanti shines at Boscars


Rang De Basanti was named best film on June 10 at Bollywood’s version of the Oscars (Boscars). It scooped a total of 10 awards from 15 nominations at the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) in Sheffield designed to honour Bollywood talent and promote its films abroad.

Rang De Basanti beat off challenges from movies including Dhoom 2 and sci-fi hit Krrish. Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai presented the award at the climax of a marathon five-hour ceremony.

Earlier, Hrithik Roshan won best actor in a leading role for Krrish, while Rani Mukherjee was best actress (Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna). The award for best director went to Rajkumar Hirani for Lage Raho Munnabhai.

But the event was not only about awards — a series of high-octane stage performances by stars like Shilpa Shetty, Akshay Kumar and Saif Ali Khan had the crowd swaying in their seats and, later, dancing in the aisles.

Abhishek and Amitabh danced together on stage to deafening cheers and screams from the crowd. Cheers were only slightly less loud for Salman Khan.

Other highlights included an award for outstanding contribution to Indian cinema for legendary actor and politician Dharmendra, who was joined on stage by his two weeping sons, Sunny and Bobby Deol.

Big B told the audience in a very personal address that Dharmendra was “the most wonderful friend and the most wonderful human you can come across.”

In addition, Shetty was awarded a special prize by the county of Yorkshire marking her victory earlier this year on British reality television show Celebrity Big Brother in the face of alleged racist bullying. Handing over the award, former England cricket captain Geoffrey Boycott said, “Under great provocation, she acted with dignity and class and like a true lady.” The event was presented by funnyman Boman Irani and former Miss Universe Lara Dutta.

An estimated 30,000 visitors from abroad poured into Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, York and Hull for the events that are bringing a touch of glamour to gritty Yorkshire. But a serious twist was thrown in as the stars walked the green carpet that replaced the traditional red carpet to raise awareness of environmental issues and climate change.

The IIFAs, first held in 2000 in London, are always held in different locations around the world to increase the international profile of Bollywood.