'Kal Ho Naa Ho' scoops most IIFA Awards
"Kal Ho Naa Ho", starring Shah Rukh Khan and Preity Zinta, bagged almost all the top honours at the glittering IIFA Awards ceremony here.
By Fakir Hassen, IANS
The film was named Saturday evening as the Best Picture, but Shah Rukh was pipped at the post by Hrithik Roshan, who got the best actor in a leading role award for his performance in the sci-fi movie "Koi Mil Gaya".
Preity won the best actress in a leading role tile, and the film also won the best actress in a supporting role for Jaya Bachchan and the best actor in a supporting role for Saif Ali Khan.
"Kal Ho Naa Ho" also claimed all but one award in the music categories. Sonu Nigam won the best male playback singer award; Karan Johar the best story award; Javed Akhtar the best lyrics award; Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy the best music direction award, losing only the best female playback singer award.
Although Alka Yagnik was nominated for a song from "Kal Ho Naa Ho" and songs from two other films, she was beaten by Shreya Ghosal for her song "Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai" in "Jism".
The award for best direction went to Rakesh Roshan for "Koi Mil Gaya".
Other winners were Feroz Khan for best performance in a negative role in "Jaanasheen", and Boman Irani for the best performance in a comic role in "Munnabhai M.B.B.S".
Earlier, "Kal Ho Naa Ho" also won six of the thirteen categories for technical excellence in the IIFA Awards and "Koi Mil Gaya" won three.
The star-studded event, which took place before a capacity audience at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, featured tributes to greats of the Indian cinema by the current generation of artists.
Arshad Warsi started it off with a tribute to Shammi Kapoor with a medley of the veteran's songs as a bemused Kapoor looked on. Warsi stepped in at the last minute after Saif Ali Khan injured his leg during a celebrity football match the previous night.
In fact, two Khans at the IIFA Awards were on crutches, the other being Fardeen. Two other Khans were absent, namely Salman and Aamir, but Shah Rukh Khan and Zayed Khan kept the clan name alive with their performances.
Singapore President S.R. Nathan handed over an award to Dilip Kumar after Shah Rukh performed a tribute to the screen legend. He was one of the veterans honoured for lifetime achievement in cinema.
Others were Helen, with Yana Gupta gyrating to a selection of her dances;
Vivek Oberoi, doing a lively Amitabh Bachchan item; and Preity Zinta in a tribute to Madhubala.
Shahid Kapur paid tribute to Rajesh Khanna, who was not present, as his close friend Kareena Kapoor rocked in her chair during his medley and when he later performed to the song "I Believe in Love."
The other awards given out were: the Samsung Style Icon Award to Saif Ali Khan, the Sony Entertainment Television Face of the Year Awards to Amrita Arora and Shahid Kapoor, and the Samsung Diva Award to Kareena Kapoor, who accepted the trophy sporting all blonde hair.
The blend of young artists performing tributes to the older awards winners was also in keeping with the organisers' theme of taking Indian cinema to global audiences, since it created awareness about older films mainly among the younger generation, which constitutes the growing market for Indian films in Singapore, especially among the Malay community here.
Though dance medleys generated interest, a golden oldies tribute to musical legends like R.D. Burman, S.D. Burman, Kishore Kumar and others by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy fell largely on deaf ears until they ended their performance with the title song from "Kal Ho Naa Ho" - it was the sad version that was lauded.
Shilpa Shetty, approached by a presenter on the floor, was totally at a loss for words while Karan Johar showed great humour during his few appearances on the stage and could easily have done a far better job than host Rahul Khanna, who seemed to be having problems with his voice.
Australian cricketer Brett Lee got huge applause when he handed over a trophy and greeted the gathering in Hindi and Malay.
Abhishek Bachchan, called on to hand out the award for supporting actress screamed with great excitement "Yaaay Maaaaa!" as his mother won, and then calmly handed the trophy over to her.
Female presenter Celina Jaitley was a bland script reader, while Mahima Choudary who replaced her later was bubbly and lively.
After a spectacular opening song and dance sequence by Chinese and Indian dancers, speakers Amitabh Bachchan, the IIFA brand ambassador, and a representative of Singapore Tourism, could not understand why they were getting huge roars from the excited crowd as they spoke, often in mid-sentence.
What they did not know was that the faces of stars sitting in the audience kept appearing on the giant screens even as they spoke.