SHAH RUKH KHAN, RANBIR KAPOOR, KATRINA KAIF, ABHISHEK BACHCHAN, PRIYANKA CHOPRA, ANUSHKA SHARMA TO PERFORM AT TIMES OF INDIA FILM AWARDS (TOIFA) IN VANCOUVER ON APRIL 6

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Fans around the world can begin voting in February for their favourite stars in 14 categories to determine winners
 
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The Times of India Film Awards symbol unveiled: (left to right) actress Chitrangada Singh, The Times of India’s A.P. Parigi, producer Karan Johar, Premier Christy Clark and choreographer Shiamak Davar. All photos accompanying this article by Chandra Bodalia)
 
BY RATTAN MALL
 
AS I reported exclusively in Asian Journal last weekend, Vancouver will host a version of the prestigious Filmfare Awards of the Times of India (TOI) newspaper group – India’s largest media conglomerate – in the first week of April.
 
(Global TV had reported incorrectly that the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards were being held here. But the Asian Journal’s report last week was accurate.)
 
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The inaugural edition of The Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) will be held April 4-6 and for me it’s something special personally because I was a reporter and a special correspondent with The Times of India in New Delhi from 1979 to 1990 before I immigrated to Canada.
 
The Times of India Film Awards 2013 celebrations:
* April 4: TOIFA Music Extravaganza at Pacific Coliseum.
* April 5: Screenings of popular Bollywood films in multiplexes across British Columbia.
* April 6: TOIFA Red Carpet and Awards Extravaganza at BC Place.
 
Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, and many more will perform at the prestigious event.
 
AND TOIFA wants all of you to get involved as Bollywood fans from around the world are invited to vote for their favourite stars across 14 categories to determine the winners at www.TOIFA.com where you can get a lot of other information as well.
 
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The 14 public voting categories: Best Film, Best Actor – Male, Best Actor – Female, Supporting Actor – Male, Supporting Actor – Female, Best Negative Role, Best Debut – Male, Best Debut – Female, Best Singer – Male, Best Singer – Female, Best Music Director, Best Director, Best Lyricist, and Best actor in a comic role.
 
TOIFA will invite 10-15 prominent personalities in the Canadian Film Industry to the awards ceremony, and also present an award to a Canadian actor to acknowledge their contribution to the Canadian Film Industry.
 
Advisory Board Categories: Best Film, Best Actor – Male, Best Actor – Female, Best Debut Director, Canadian Actor – Contribution to Canadian Film Industry, and Highest Grossing Film
Technical Categories (12): Best Cinematographer, Best Dialogue, Best Editing, Best Story, Best Choreographer, Best Special Effects, Best Screenplay, Best Costume Designer, Best Art Director, Best Action Director, Best Background Score, and Best Sound Recording.
 
Tickets go on sale February 10 through Ticketmaster and Ticketleader.
 
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THE Times of India Group is known internationally for its Filmfare Awards, presented annually to honour both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in the Hindi language film in India. Known as the Oscars of India, the Filmfare ceremony is now entering its 58th year and is the oldest and most prominent event for the Hindi film industry.
 
The Times of India Group is the largest media conglomerate in India with multiple newspapers, magazines, television stations, radio stations and internet websites. Their network reaches an average of 90 million people per day. The Times of India newspaper is the world’s largest English-language daily, with eight million daily readers.
 
As part of the hosting agreement, British Columbia will receive exposure in India through the various Times Group platforms profiling and highlighting B.C. as an appealing trade market and tourism destination. Besides a live audience of over 30,000, the TOIFA Awards ceremony will be seen by viewers around the world through a global telecast.
 
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ON Tuesday, Premier Christy Clark made the official announcement at a media event where choreographer Shiamak Davar’s performers vividly demonstrated the glitz and sheer energy of Bollywood-style entertainment.
 
Also present were Bollywood actress Chitrangada Singh, whose movie Inkaar was released last weekend (Asian Journal Special Columnist Kamal Sharma wrote about it in his “Kamal’s What’s Happening!!!” column), film director and producer Karan Johar, choreographer Shiamak Davar, and A.P. Parigi, Board of Directors, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd, The Times of India Group.
 
Clark noted: “The Times of India Film Awards will be seen by hundreds of millions of people in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and Vancouver will be centre stage.
 
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This is one piece of our government’s outreach efforts in India, opening up new opportunities for trade and investment that will create jobs here at home. This is a tremendous economic opportunity for British Columbia to reach new markets – one that we will take advantage of.”
She noted that India’s middle class is expected to grow to 583 million in the next 15 years from just 50 million today. This growth will unleash enormous buying potential, much of which will be met by global imports. In the first 11 months of 2012, British Columbia saw its exports to India increase by over 104 per cent compared to the same period in 2011.
Clark also noted: “The Times of India communicates with 90 million people every single day and they’ll be communicating about British Columbia to the people that they speak to. This is an incredible opportunity for us to sell our province.
“So, here in our province, we support the film industry to the tune of about $285 million worth of tax money every year that citizens provide to support the film industry and I think that’s a really good investment.
“In addition to the $285 million in tax credits that the local film industry gets, we’ve also as part of this deal signed a guarantee that one Bollywood production will come to British Columbia, use BC suppliers and so at the same time that we’re trying to make our province attractive from a tax perspective we’re also using events like this to try to bring more productions to our province and I hope that that’s just one production that we’ll attract from the biggest film industry in the world.”
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THE Province of British Columbia will provide $9.5 million in matching funding to the Times Group towards producing the event. An additional $1.5 million is being budgeted for various activities in B.C. including hosting the BC-India Global Business Forum, which will be heavily promoted in Times Group’s Economic Times, the second largest financial daily in the world in terms of circulation, after The Wall Street Journal.
The immediate economic benefit of hosting The Times of India Film Awards is estimated to be between $13 million to $18 million of direct spending in B.C. during the event due to tourism and event production.
Parigi said: “The launch of TOIFA coincides with the Times of India Group’s 175 glorious years of thought leadership in the media and entertainment business. We are now proud to launch TOIFA, a global awards platform conceptualized to bring the film industry closer to fans from across the globe.
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“With the Awards being held in Vancouver, British Columbia, it is going to be the beginning of a new collaboration with a destination which is home to the second-largest Indian and South Asian population in Canada.”
Karan Johar said: “I am delighted to be at the launch of TOIFA and in this beautiful city of Vancouver. This is an exceptional concept and a great opportunity for us to connect with all our international fans. TOIFA 2013 will also be celebrated as a centenary milestone to showcase Hindi cinema’s legacy in the last 100 years. The Hindi film industry is no longer confined to the borders of the subcontinent and is rapidly expanding its reach.”
Chitrangada Singh said: “I am very excited to be part of TOIFA’s launch at Vancouver and represent the Hindi film industry. The atmosphere here is amazing; we are really humbled by the love of our fans.”
She was blown away with Vancouver’s beauty, saying, “It’s spectacular – even with the fog!”
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Shiamak Davar said: “It’s great that The Times of India Group has taken such an initiative to merge the boundaries between cinema and people from across the globe. Not only is it truly rewarding to receive the love and support of our fans, but it also amazes me to see the international recognition and notice that Indian cinema has got today. TOIFA is even more special for me, as Vancouver is my second home so I’m going to have my dancers from India and Canada coming together for this. I am excited to be part of this grand celebration of talent and creativity at TOIFA 2013.”
Iain Black, president and CEO of the Vancouver Board of Trade, said: “India is the fastest-growing nation in the world; it will be the third-largest economy in the world by 2050. The exposure our province will gain in India through this agreement will open the door to significant economic and job opportunities. India is an obvious business ally for us here in B.C., as we have a common bond through language, the Commonwealth, shared culture, and a firm commitment to democracy and open markets.”
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Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, said: “The economic potential and benefits of showcasing British Columbia as a potential travel, trade and investment destination through the Times of India Film Awards is significant,
leadership-oriented towards creating jobs and building our economy.”
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Tentative Dates / Activity / Location

January 29: Launch Press Conference / Mumbai
February 1 and 6: British Columbia Travel Trade Event / Delhi and Mumbai
February: Global Voting Campaign
March 2: Femina Miss India Fundraiser / International Women’s Forum / Vancouver
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April 3: Arrivals and Airport Activation / Vancouver
April 4: Day 1 – Press Conference, Media Briefings and Musical Extravaganza / Vancouver
April 5: Day 2 – Film Screening / Nominations Gala and Technical Awards / Vancouver
April 6: Day 3 – Red Carpet and Awards Presentation Ceremony / Vancouver
May: Celebrity Travelogue / British Columbia

For more information on TOIFA visit:
www.toifa.com
On Twitter: @toifaawards
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/toifa.awards
On Youtube: www.youtube.com/toifa.awards