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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 May, 2004, 02:48 GMT 03:48 UK
India awards annual cinema prizes
By Karishma Vaswani
BBC, Singapore

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan got a warm reception from the crowds
One film - the love triangle blockbuster, Kal Ho Na Ho - has swept the Fifth International Indian Film Awards at a Singapore ceremony.

It won a total of eight out of the 13 awards, with Preity Zinta taking the best actress award for her role.

Among the 400 film stars attending were the elder statesman Amtibabh Bachchan, screen idol Shah Rukh Khan, as well as the leading actress Rani Mukerjee.

The show has previously been held in the UK, South Africa and Malaysia.

Screen royalty

Preity Zinta

It was as glossy as an award ceremony could be: big names, big dance routines and a big stage - and, of course, the show started with a song and dance number.

India's screen royalty were out in force, with Amitbabh Bachchan telling the audience that "Indian cinema speaks the language of emotion - it's a reflection of life itself, a mirror image of the people of India itself".

The fans had travelled from all over the world to see the show, thousands waiting in sweltering heat to catch a glimpse of the movie stars they normally only get to see on the silver screen.

The night belonged to the romantic drama Kal Ho Na Ho - Whatever Happens, Happens - a complicated love triangle set in New York in which the hero dies.

Rani Mukerjee and Hrithik Roshan
Hrithik Roshan received his best actor award from Rani Mukerjee
But Preity Zinta's co-star, Shah Rukh Khan, lost out on best actor, which was taken by Hrithik Roshan for his role in Koi Mil Gaya, India's first science fiction film.

"Thank you for making a dream come true," Hrithik told the crowds.

Dynasties are nothing new in India - the film was directed by his father, Rakesh Roshan, who also walked away with an award.

Indian cinema is enjoying a revival, not just on its home turf, but abroad too.

Critics may dismiss the storylines as unrealistic, but audiences think otherwise.

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