IN 24-hours history will be made as the first South Africa India Film and Television Awards (SAIFTA) takes place at Durban’s ICC.
The who’s who of Bollywood and South African film and TV are expected to attend the event – a collaboration between India’s Celebrity Locker and Tourism KwaZulu-Natal.
A host of Bollywood A-listers landed in Durban yesterday. Among those who flew into King Shaka International Airport were Shilpa and Apoorva Agnihotri, Dia Mirza, Madhuri Dixit, Siddarth Malhotra, Mukesh Bhatt and veteran actress Waheeda Rehman.
Six thousand tickets – priced from R500 to R3 500, for VVIP tables – went on sale last month. SAIFTA Creative Director, Kedhar Gawde, said yesterday that more than half had been sold already, with lots of last-minute sales still coming through.
He said preparations were in full swing.
“The set up, rehearsals, fittings … it’s amazing to see teams from two different countries come together. It’s so emotional for me seeing this collaboration – it’s like the making of the SAIFTA family,” said Gawde.
He said most of the Bolly stars billed for the event had arrived.
“As we speak Ranveer (Singh) is rehearsing his act.”
Singh will give a dance recital dedicated to 100 years of indian cinema.
Gawde confirmed that besides Saif Ali Khan, who cancelled his involvement in SAIFTA this year because of a sudden change in the shooting schedule of one his films, all the other Bolly stars associated with the event were still attending.
The red carpet arrival – taking place from 5.30pm to 6.30pm tomorrow at the Walnut Road entrance to the ICC – has been billed as one that will attract worldwide television coverage as mega-stars such as actor John Abraham; celebrity designer Manish Malhotra (who has dressed the likes of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Demi Moore, Kylie Minogue, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell); Bollywood mogul Karan Johar and others make their appearances.
Judges for the film and television awards are as A-list as the stars themselves, with stars such as veteran Bollywood actress Waheeda Rehman, producer Mukesh Bhatt, actor Boman Irani, director and screenwriter Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, and director Farah Khan on the guest list.
Their South African counterparts feature renowned actor, writer, director and chair of the KZN Film Commission, Welcome Msomi, theatre and television personality Saira Essa, film industry veteran Peter Rorvik, Playhouse chief executive officer and artistic director, Linda Bukhosini, theatre personality and arts critic Caroline Smart, and actress and radio personality, Leleti Khumalo.
WALL OF FAME
With so many stars in Durban, it was announced a few weeks ago that discussions were under way to create a SAIFTA Wall of Fame on the Durban beachfront, intended to be a “must-visit” landmark for tourists in Durban.
Rehman, Abraham, and award-winning actor, Manoj Bajpayee, were the first of many to have already added their hand impressions for the Wall of Fame.
SAIFTA has also been punted as a drive for a closer relationship between India and South Africa; especially in terms of skills exchange, tourism and film-making in KZN.
In a press statement earlier this week Tourism KZN chief executive officer, Ndabo Khoza, said: “Durban’s hosting of the SAIFTA’s for the next three years presents an exciting opportunity for Tourism KZN to strategically leverage awareness of the province and its tourism offerings internationally, particularly within the Indian market, which continues to show tremendous growth potential.”
• Madhuri Dixit: Actress and popular dancer, Dixit, holds the record for the highest number of Best Actress Nominations (13) at the Filmfare Awards. She will dance to Ghagra.
• Siddarth Malhotra: The popular actor will perform with local dancers in a medley of acts from his debut box-office success film, Student of the Year.
• Priyanka Chopra: An actress, singer and former Miss World, Chopra, has become one of Bollywood’s highest-paid actresses. She will be dancing to the ever popular Desi Girl.
• Shamali Kholgade: Durban diva, Karen van Pletsen will sing along with Bollywood singer-songwriter, Kholgade. They will sing the Bolly hit Pareeshan from the film Ishaqzades.
• Elli Avram and Manish Paul: Gorgeous Bollywood actress and model, Elli Avram, will dance with TV anchor, Manish Paul.
They starred in the movie Micky Virus and their performance will be integrated with the film on stage.