IIFA yet to finalise Nepal for awards

IIFA has provided multiple tangible and intangible benefits for host destinations over the years

Kathmandu, July 5

The International Indian Film Academy has clarified that it has not confirmed Nepal as the host country for its upcoming awards ceremony.

The statement comes at a time when the government is mulling over organising the 20th edition of IIFA Awards in Nepal while a parliamentary committee has directed the government not to do so citing “inappropriately and unnaturally high cost of hosting the event considering the country’s economic status”.

IIFA is in the advanced stage of finalising the destination for next IIFA Awards, one of the Indian cinema’s biggest annual global events, reads a statement issued by IIFA today. And Nepal is one of the destinations being considered for the awards ceremony, according to the statement. “But no final decision has been taken so far [with regards to Nepal],” adds the statement.  “IIFA fans are advised not to make any travel plans at this point,” it states. The IIFA has been organising the awards ceremony since 2000 in countries other than India. In the last 19 years, over 14 cities of 12 countries in four continents have hosted the event.

“IIFA has provided multiple tangible and intangible benefits for host destinations over the years, including hike in tourist inflow, business and trade promotion, destination marketing and film shooting commitments, which create short- and long-term impact on economies,” the statement quotes Wiz Andre Timmins, director of Wizcraft International, the producers and creators of the IIFA movement, as saying.

The IIFA event provides host destinations with a $200-million media campaign that raises the profile of the country, increases tourist flow by 35 per cent to 50 per cent, and improves tourism yields through the introduction of higher value tourists, adds the statement. The programme also provides event management training opportunity to young students and creates avenues for joint venture between filmmakers of India and the host destination, reads the statement.

These benefits are exclusive of $35 million in immediate spending by event organisers and co-organisers and visitors who throng the host nation, the statement adds.

“As a result of these positive achievements and results, countries bid to host the event and we receive invitations to explore global cities for consideration every year,” says Timmins.

In this regard, Nepal is one of the countries that is bidding to host IIFA Awards in 2019, adds the statement. But “several unconfirmed stories coming from Nepal” suggest the country has been chosen to host the event, which is not true, according to the statement.

“IIFA is not responsible for and has not been involved in any of recent media activity related to Nepal and does not endorse any event details provided,” adds the statement. “Any speculation being made by media is the result of the Nepal Tourism Board and Kathmandu Metropolitan City going ahead without due authority and permission to speak about our global brand — IIFA — coming to Nepal.”