With all the romantic, sappy films that Bollywood churns out, it's evident that Indian cinema is all about the emotion.
On Friday night, Bollywood stars and fans opened their hearts and wallets to raise money at the star-studded IIFA Rocks, a glitzy musical and fashion extravaganza. All proceeds went to the Indian International Film Academy Foundation, which supports the families of film industry workers adversely affected during the production of films.
The fans went wild and cameras flashed when the celebrities stepped onto the green carpet outside the Ricoh Coliseum at the Canadian National Exhibition. But the loudest screams - and swooning - were for Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan.
"Wow, this is very exciting, overwhelming," said Mr. Khan, who is up for the best actor award for his work in the film My Name is Khan, about the backlash Muslims face in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
"I have done a film in Vancouver and then shot a bit in Calgary, but never in Toronto. But inshallah [God willing]that will happen some day."
Aside from Mr. Khan, IIFA Rocks paid tribute to the King of Pop. Michael Jackson's brother Jermaine jammed with Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam during the tribute.
"He was my idol, and it's a great pleasure to perform a tribute to him in front of so many Canadians and Bollywood fans," Mr. Nigam said.
Mr. Nigam, who credits Michael Jackson as the influence for his hit song Deewana Dil, is a playback singer who pre-records songs to which Bollywood actors then lip-synch. Mr. Nigam crafted a song for the pop star after his death two years ago. That song, which also incorporated fan tributes, eventually wound up on the tribute album The Beat of Our Hearts.
"I'm very excited to be here," Jermaine Jackson said. "And I love everything about India ... And they gave a lot of love to my brother."
IIFA Rocks was hosted by director Karan Johar, creator of candy-floss Bollywood films such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, and Indian actress Anushka Sharma, who is also nominated for best actress for her role as a wedding planner in last year's smash hit Band Baaja Baaraat.
At the Indio-Canadian fusion fashion show, Indian designers Rajesh Pratap Singh and Vikram Phadnis showcased their collections to the music of popular Bollywood composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Meanwhile, models also walked down the runway with collections of Canadian designers - including Wayne Clark, Arthur Mendonca, Mark Fast, Vawk and Jeremy Laing - that are sold at the Bay, an official sponsor of IIFA Rocks.
The IIFA technical award winners were also presented Fruiday night. Romantic comedy Band Baaja Baarat and the action movie Dabangg led the pack, with each film scooping three awards.
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