2014 International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) award show brings Bollywood to Tampa Bay

India's Oscar s coming next year

TAMPA - "Oh, my god!  You want me to scream?  I can scream right now," said Riverview resident Sheetal Dave.

She and her husband Aashay are more than a little excited about India's version of the Oscars coming to Tampa next year.

"I can't even think.  It's beyond imagination.  It's like wow!  It's amazing," she said.

Movies are a huge business in India.  Bollywood, as it's known, sells $4 billion worth of tickets annually, compared to 1.2 billion for Hollywood films.

And because of it's worldwide appeal, the International Indian Film Academy is taking it's award show around the world.  The Tampa event will be the first ever in the United States.

Dr. Kiran Patel helped bring the event to Tampa.  He said, "The magnitude of the event can only be perceived when it's witnessed.  And for many of the people here, this is something they've never seen."

Many worked together, using private funds to bring the IIFA awards to Tampa.  And they say many will benefit from the 30,000 to 40,000 visitors.

They say last year's ceremony in Singapore generated $18 million for the local economy. And past host cities get a 35 percent bump in tourism from all the worldwide exposure.

"There will be lots of opportunities to showcase our city. We are planning on 32 events leading up to that weekend that will be full of events in June of 2014," said Tampa Bay & Company president Santiago Corrado.

The stars of Bollywood will all come to Tampa for the award show, but organizers also predict some of our celebrities will come too.

"Since it's here in the states, we believe that there will be some attention on this particular IIFA from Hollywood and the actors that have worked with some of the Bollywood stars and are very popular in India as well," said Corrado.

Organizers say we could see as many as 300,000 visitors over the next ten months with everything they have planned. The award show will be at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, but other events could utilize the fairgrounds, the USF Sun dome and Raymond James Stadium.

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