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AS THE hype around the South African India Film and Television Awards (SAIFTA) snowballs, we thought we’d give you some background on the event and its mastermind, Kedhar Gawde – known in the industry as KD.
After the launch of SAIFTA earlier this year, Durbanites can look forward to a spectacular SAIFTA show and awards evening at the Durban ICC Arena on September 6.
Tickets have been selling fast for the event, which includes the red carpet arrival of Bollywood and South African movie stars and celebrities.
As the director of Celebrity Locker in Mumbai, an event and talent management company, KD had a dream to create a project that would strengthen the natural ties between India and South Africa and create a “talent exchange platform”.
When he came to Durban and started informally meeting people who could help him put SAIFTA together, no one quite understood the magnitude of his vision.
A couple of months later, his signature style and expertise resulted in a grandiose, global show with a unique Indian touch that was the SAIFTA launch. It was one of the slickest shows Durban had seen.
When the SAIFTA trophy was unveiled by the chairman of the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism, Sadha Naidoo, KD proudly announced: “I feel like my baby is born!”
He explained: “We aim for SAIFTA to be recognised around the world. This is a harmonious meeting of minds, creative talent, vision and innovation, where the spotlight is on the best of showbiz, glamour and talent that both countries have to offer.
“Most important, it is a platform for the exchange of talent where your local artists can be given an opportunity to expand their abilities and horizons abroad.”
KD has directed and choreographed shows for some of the biggest brands in fashion and luxury. He was New York Fashion Week’s first Indian show director, and worked with renowned South African designer David Tlale.
KD will be working with Tlale and with Durban couturier Haroun Hansrot for SAIFTA.
KD plays multiple roles, as a show director, choreographer, talent scout and fashion consultant. He has spotted and selected young dancers and models to participate in a talent exchange in Mumbai.
A lifestyle and high fashion addict, he presents his style, flair and finesse in numerous creative ways.
He is a familiar and popular name on the glamour circuit, thanks to his association with some of the world’s biggest names and brands. They include Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, MTV and Bacardi.
With a keen eye on trends, KD works beyond boundaries to satiate his passion for fashion, lifestyle and entertainment.
South African dancers selected for the SAIFTA show are working with Bollywood choreographer Geeta Kapoor, who is a judge for the Indian talent show Dance India Dance and who has choreographed major award ceremonies and concerts, including the opening of the Pepsi IPL 2013.
SAIFTA is set to become an annual event and has the backing of the KZN Department of Economic Development and Tourism as well as Tourism KwaZulu-Natal for the next three years.
• Tickets for the event are selling at Computicket, Shoprite/Checkers. Prices range from R500 to R3 500 for VVIP tables with the stars.