Press Trust of India
Dubai, June 14: The largest festival of Indian films was today launched by superstar Amitabh Bachchan, as some of Bollywood's biggest names gathered for the seventh annual IIFA Awards here.
Bachchan, who is "brand ambassador" for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA), said, "Our cinema requires to be seen by more people."
Launching the IIFA Weekend at a news conference, Bachchan said the people in the West were initally "cynical" about attempts to promote Indian cinema around the world, but the situation had now changed.
There was also special praise from Bachchan for Dubai, the venue for the four-day festival. Describing it as a "unique miracle", he said, "It is a meeting point for the cultures of the West and of the East."
The IIFA Weekend and Awards, which are regarded as India's equivalent of the Oscars, will showcase 32 movies. They include 14 south Indian, 16 Hindi, one Marathi, one Bengali and six short films.
Actors Mamootty, Mohanlal, Meera Jasmine and Aishwarya Rai are among the stars attending the event. Rai's new movie "Provoked" will be premiered during the festival.