Live Performance DVD - Bollywood Awards 2005 - Atlantic City
The Hindi film industry handed out its version of the Oscars on April 30 at the Bollywood Movie Awards, which saw a veteran director take top honors and a U.S. actor best known for Baywatch named International Star of the Year.
Dancers in shimmering costumes, Indian beauties in saris and sultry heartthrobs sporting long black coats crowded the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The event was held in the U.S. East Coast gambling resort as part of Bollywood's bid to be a global force in cinema.
It was a fitting backdrop for a show that mixed the glitz of a major movie industry with the retro feel of variety-show dance numbers, the likes of which were long ago excised from the Oscars.
An audience composed largely of Americans of Indian origin cheered as veteran Yash Chopra was named �Best Director� for his film Veer-Zaara, which also picked up the award for Best Film and Best Actor for its star Shahrukh Khan. Rani Mukherjee, one of the few major divas to take the stage, won the Best Actress Award for her role in Hum Tum.
The winner is the Spielberg of India ... Yash Chopra, said former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff as he presented the award for best film, referring to star U.S. director Steven Spielberg.
Bollywood has a reputation for colorful kitsch melodramatic plots, young lovers battling cruel fate, wicked villains and sentimental, but chaste, song-and-dance routines.
Whether its comedy or romance or action, films should touch your heart, Chopra said, explaining the appeal of his films and the genre.
Though an array of stars including former Miss India Lara Dutta entertained the crowd, Hasselhoff provoked some of the nights biggest cheers when he picked up his statuette.
The Bollywood Awards which resemble a slim-line Oscar holding what could be a torch or a bunch of flowers are chosen according to a popular vote by fans. Baywatch and Knight Rider, in which Hasselhoff co-starred with a car named Kit, may raise sniggers from highbrow critics at home but they are still going strong in India, and the actor said he had much in common with the escapism of Bollywood. I'm proud of shows like Baywatch and Knight Rider because its about saving lives, not taking lives, he told Reuters.
It's entertainment, it's tongue in cheek, it brings the world together, he said, adding that the entertainment industry was a powerful force for good in the world. I think its responsible for a lot of world peace, Hasselhoff said, adding that he was hoping to work in India soon on a project based on a series of romantic novels.
I never knew exactly how to get there. Now Ive got this (award) its like my key to India, he said. Bollywood churns out around 1,000 movies a year and has a fan base that extends to the Middle East and Europe, besides U.S. and the Southeast Asia. But veteran actor Shammi Kapoor, who shared the Lifetime Achievement Award with actress of yesteryear Vyjayantimala, said better technology and funding were leading to more and more better films.
They are getting to be more topical, he added. They arent the happy happy movies of yesteryear.
Bollywood still has comic heroes and dastardly villains, however, and the awards paid tribute to both. Aftab Shivdasani turned up to claim his prize for Best Comedian. Villain of the Year was Abhishek Bachchan.