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December 10, 2009
The City of Toronto to host the International Indian Film Academy awards in 2011
Yesterday, the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty announced in Mumbai, India, that the 2011 IIFA awards will be held in Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton from June 16-19, 2011. Toronto is the first North American city to host the awards, which are held in a different international city every year. Numerous Toronto venues are slated to present the many film screenings and industry events that surround the official awards presentations, which will also occur in Toronto. The City of Toronto congratulates the Province of Ontario for its commitment in bringing the event to Toronto.

“The City of Toronto is very pleased to host this prestigious event,” said Mayor David Miller. “The International Indian Film Academy awards highlight the continued success that Toronto has in attracting the international film community. Toronto's large South Asian community and devoted film fans will ensure this event is a rousing success.”

As outlined by the Agenda for Prosperity, the City of Toronto has many creative, multicultural and infrastructure advantages for hosting events of this scale.

Said IIFA Director Mr. Viraf Sarkari: "We are pleased to announce IIFA's North American premiere in Toronto, Ontario in 2011. The city has much to offer and the weekend and awards promise to be bigger than ever as IIFA steps into Canada. We have earlier experienced a great response in Toronto with The Unforgettable Tour and hope to find the same experience with IIFA 2011."

The City of Toronto, through events like the Toronto International Film Festival, Filmi South Asian Film Festival, the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and Masala! Mehndi! Masti! has been a strong supporter of the Bollywood and Indian film industry and its growing appeal amongst Canadian audiences.

A number of Bollywood films have had their World and North American premieres in Toronto including What’s Your Rashee? (2009), Dil Bole Hadippa (2009), Guru (2007) and Never Say Goodbye (2006). Toronto director Deepa Mehta's film Bollywood/Hollywood had its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2002 and was filmed in Thornhill, Ontario. The Toronto International Film Festival has also hosted contemporary Indian cinema World Premiere's like Road, Movie (2009), and four titles from Indian filmmakers in 2006.

The IIFA Awards are expected to draw over 500 people from the Indian film industry, about 40,000 visitors and an international television audience of more than 350 million. The awards will cap a four-day celebration of everything to do with Indian film, including a film festival, business forum and many free community events.

Toronto's South Asian community is the fastest growing visible minority group in the city. The prediction from Statistics Canada is that by the year 2017, more than one million South Asians will call Toronto home - making Toronto the largest diaspora in the Western hemisphere. Currently Toronto has 300,000 South Asians (12% of the total city population). More than 60% of the total South Asian population in Canada lives in Ontario.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Duncan Ross - Senior Executive Advisor - Major International Events and Special Projects, Ph: 416-397-5395, cel: 416-902-6730,
Shane Gerard, Senior Promotions & Communications Coordinator, Cluster A Communications Unit, 416-397-5711,



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