Everyone dances to the tune of ‘Do Da Tampa’ as B- Town sets the ball rolling for the 15th edition of IIFA Awards in the US
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is excited about the way the people of his city are learning to say Namaste. After shaking a leg with the Bollywood stars at the curtain raiser of IIFA ( International Indian Film Academy) Awards 2014 held at Hotel Hilton in Tampa Bay, Buckhorn admitted that he has a second career option ready.
Sonakshi Sinha, Anil Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan took to the stage to perform on the IIFA anthem ‘Do The Tampa’. “That’s the effect of cinema,” said Buckhorn, as he inaugurated the 15th edition of IIFA 2014 open. “It is not just a fourday affair, we would want to be seen everywhere through the Indian films.” “IIFA will rock Tampa just as Tampa is all set to rock IIFA. I want the Bollywood to think Tampa as their second home,” the Mayor said.
Governor Rick Scott also welcomed the IIFA contingent to Florida. “With all that this place has to offer, it is no surprise that the IIFA chose Tampa Bay for their first gala in the US. Florida’s turnaround and economic success has been possible because of the tourism industry and events like this,” Scott said.
Scott also attributed impressive gains to their economic climate and strategic investments in the tourism industry.
Priyanka Chopra, who looked stunning in an orange short top and silver harem skirt called it an “invasion of Bollywood.” “It is for the world to see what a celebration our cinema is. The cinema transcends through all boundaries,” the Barfi actress said.
“When we thought of increasing our presence on the international platform, we realised that there is no better way than doing it through cinema,” said Commissioner Al Higginbotham, highlighting the 20-month-long preparation that went into organising the IIFA weekend at Tampa Bay.
The evening was also attended by Stephen Baldwin, brother of Alec Baldwin, who is producing and shooting a film in India. He discussed his strong connect with India, which he visits regularly for his charitable work and his forthcoming film projects.
Donning a short black dress Sonakshi Sinha impressed many with her new toned avatar as she made Mayor Bob shake a leg with her. “What more do we want, even the Mayor danced for us!” she said.
Pakistani singer Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, dressed in a black embellished pathani suit, released his new Sufi album Back 2 Love at the event.