Shah Rukh Khan: Happy to be the part of The Times Of India Film Awards
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan unveiled The Times Of India Film Awards (TOIFA) and its trophy at a grand ceremony in Mumbai on Tuesday night. The awards, which will honour the best of Bollywood, will be annually held at diverse international destinations, thus, taking the charm of Hindi cinema overseas. At the ceremony, it was also announced that the first ever edition of the awards will be held at British Columbia, Canada, from April 4-6, this year and will be hosted by Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma..
At the event, Times Group MD Vineet Jain, said, “The global awards will honour the best of Hindi film industry, which is no longer confined to the borders of the sub-continent. The awards come at a time when we are celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema. Spread across 14 different categories, the awards give Hindi cinema fans from across the world a chance to vote for their favourites in these categories. TOIFA will have the finest of the Hindi film industry supporting the initiative.”
Deputy High Commissioner and Acting Consul General of Canada in India, Jim Nickel, was also present. Speaking of his association with TOIFA, SRK said, “TOIFA is a wonderful opportunity. Vineet Jain gives us the fantastic platform, Jim Nickel gives us the venue, Shiamak, a wonderful choreographer brings in the creativity and goodness, I bring in fun, dance, romance, Bollywood and love.” Shiamak Davar will be choreographing the award ceremony. Earlier this month, a press conference was also held in Vancouver, Canada, to announce the launch of TOIFA, where Karan Johar, Chitrangda Singh and BC Premier Christy Clark were in attendance.You just unveiled the trophy that will be presented at the Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA). What are your thoughts on TOIFA?
It’s a beautiful trophy. And I will be proud to win one, whenever. The TOIFA is being held in Vancouver, Canada, between April 4 and 6. And I will be happy to be a part of the celebration. Coming to Bollywood film awards, personally, I think there is one award too many. But on the other hand, it is nice. I hope that with an organization like the Times of India behind it, TOIFA is more classy and above board. Also, the fact that it has a global reach makes it obviously better and so much more relevant than what we have domestically. I was telling Vineet Jain, MD, TOI, that he should make it on international standards. It has to be of a very high calibre. The award function itself should not be longer than two hours. It should be devised as an evening where the honour should become a little more important than the honoured. Only then will people like to come and participate. For example, me as an actor, as a star, should be there despite and in spite of the fact that I may or may not get the award. Now, everyone lands up saying, ‘mujhe milega award’. I hear some people even ask, ‘Batao award mil raha hai kya, then I will come’. That’s a culture we need to get rid of. Insha Allah, we should create a platform where true merit triumphs above everything else.
You are Hindi cinema’s biggest icon overseas. How significant is our cinema in the world today?
I cannot say there is no one better than me, or that I’m the one actor with the largest reach overseas. But I can definitely say that whenever I get an opportunity, anytime, anywhere to take Indian cinema to areas where it is comparatively less known, I grab the chance. Nine years ago, I had gone to Frankfurt on a small plane and addressed an audience of 50 people at a gathering. I recall how a German lady came and sang a Hindi song on a guitar with me. It was an informal thing; there was no professional fee involved. Post Frankfurt, I went to Dusseldorf and, once again, I noticed, across small little clubs, that the Germans liked Indian films. It started off like that. I also met three 60-year-old ladies, who used to head a television channel and whose dream was to create something new for Germany. They too wanted to do something with Indian cinema and, for some reason, I was part of it. To me, the biggest high is that in my term as an actor or movie star, or now an entrepreneur, if I’m able to create inroads into markets where Indian cinema is not watched or popular. In my opinion, our cinema has everything in it, despite the fact that the language is not understood; and hence, I would like to make those inroads. Only when this happens will the crossover thing actually happen.
Are you happy to represent the Hindi film industry on an international platform like the TOIFA?
As I said earlier, I don’t know whether I’m the right person. But I must say that I’m very happy to represent the Hindi cinema fraternity on an international platform. I’ve been to Vancouver for a film shoot; then I went to Toronto for an awards ceremony. It’s very nice that we can involve people like Jim Nickel, Acting Consul General and Deputy High Commissioner of Canada in India. It would also be nice if we can get the local Canadian people to participate. Out of the 100 who come to our function, even if seven take back some memories, then it is cool. It’s worthwhile. Then, we are increasing the market for our films. The more market we make for our films, the more business we will have. The more business we have, our creativity will find more wings, and the more creativity our cinema has, the more international we can be. We are the last of the non-Hollywood cinema-making nations and we should not let go of that. We should increase that.
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