Bollywood stars Farhan Akhtar and Shahid Kapoor are returning as hosts of this year’s International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards after successfully anchoring the event in 2014.
Akhtar, who was in New Delhi to make the announcement sans his co-host, said he shared a great chemistry with Shahid and “could not wait” to take to the stage with the Haider star at the 17th IIFA awards to be held on Junes 25 in Madrid, Spain.
“I am looking forward to it. Hosting takes up a lot of time so I won’t be performing. There is a lot of work to do and rehearsals to attend. Shahid and I will be toiling hard to make sure it is an entertaining experience,” he told reporters. “We have had a wonderful time in the past when we have co-hosted. There is a certain ease thatwe have and a great chemistry.”
The 42-year-old actor, singer and filmmaker in 2012 starred in Spain-set road trip movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and he said he visits the country very often.
“I have fond memories of being in Spain especially having shot my movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Even now when I plan my holidays I prefer going to Spain. It is a different experience and I am so happy that the country is hosting this year’s IIFAs,” he said.
The awards ceremony will witness performances by Bollywood A-listers, including Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Salman Khan, Hrithik Roshan and Sonakshi Sinha, among others.
Veteran Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor, who has been associated with the IIFAs for more than a decade now, said the upcoming edition of the awards ceremony is posed to be the biggest to date.
“This looks like it is going to be the biggest IIFA till date, looking at the scale of the events planned. Spain is a beautiful country. It is going to be very special year for us,” the 59-year-old actor said.
The IIFA weekend 2016 festivities, from June 23-26, will include the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum, IIFA Stomp in collaboration with Mula Fest Urban Trends Festival, IIFA Rocks, as well as the main awards gala.
“IIFA 2016 is special as it marks the 60 years of relations between India and Spain. IIFA and Madrid together will present a breathtaking amalgamation of two richly diverse countries and cultures,” Sabas Joseph, director, Wizcraft International, which organises IIFA, said.
“The aim is to bring the magic of Indian cinema not only to Spain, but to Latin America as well.”