Salman Khan to present Indian "Oscars" in Abu Dhabi

Bollywood's brightest stars will gather in Abu Dhabi on Saturday as the International Indian Film Academy Awards return for the first time since the pandemic shuttered cinemas and turned audiences on to streaming.
Salman Khan to present Indian "Oscars" in Abu Dhabi

The last Bollywood celebrated its best and brightest at the International Indian Film Academy Awards, often referred to as the Indian Oscars, was in 2019. But this Saturday Bollywood's brightest stars will gather in Abu Dhabi. And among the A-listers expected at the event are one-time real-life couple Salman Khan and actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Rai Bachchan will attend with her husband Abhishek.

Bollywood was hardest hit in the past two years, seeing a box office slump when movie-mad India was hit hard by Covid-19. This upcoming glitzy show will provide much needed relief for the industry and movie goers.

Actor Shahid Kapoor is expected to perform, at the event which in past years has been held in cities around the world including Dubai, London, Madrid, Johannesburg and Singapore, reflecting Bollywood's wide appeal and the sprawling Indian diaspora. The 22nd IIFA will be held at Etihad Arena on Yas Island. The festivities started on Friday with IIFA Rocks which was hosted by director Farah Khan Kunder and actor Aparshakti Khurana and featured performances by popular singers including Yo Yo Honey Singh, Guru Randhawa, Neha Kakkar and Dhvani Bhanushali.

As far as movies in the running this year, Shershaah, the biopic of a war hero killed in the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan, leads the way with 12 nominations, while 83 -- the story of India's 1983 cricket World Cup victory -- is nominated for nine.

Historical drama Sardar Udham, action pic Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior and Thappad, a drama tackling India's problems with domestic violence, round out the best picture nominations.

The gala event on Saturday night will see Bollywood stars walking down a green carpet instead of the traditional red one, a move which was first introduced at the event in Sheffield, UK, in 2007. It represents the concept 'Greening The IIFAs' which allows the organizers to bring attention to the issue of climate change, while also standing out among the events.

You can stream the awards live here, on Saturday 4th June.

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