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The BBC's Vicki Abbott
"For the stars London provides a whole new audience"
 real 28k

Miss World, Yukta Mookhey,
explains why the Indian film awards are being held in London
 real 28k

The BBC's David Sillito
"The awards are recognition of Bollywood's increasing international success"
 real 28k

Sunday, 25 June, 2000, 09:08 GMT 10:08 UK
Honours at Bollywood awards
Jackie Chan and Kylie Minogue
Jackie Chan and Kylie Minogue arrive at the ceremony
Veteran Indian stars have been honoured at the International Indian Film Awards at London's Millennium Dome.

Lata Mangeshkar and Sunil Dutt received awards for making an invaluable contribution to Indian cinema.

Veteran martial arts film star, Jackie Chan, has also received a life time achievements award.

Sunil Dutt
Winner Shekhar Kapoor is working with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber
Accepting his prize he said: "It's so exciting to be here. I'm good at action but not so good at speeches. I don't only do action and comedy you know. I'm a good singer and I'm not too expensive."

The film Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam won best picture award, with Aishwarya Rai taking best actress in a leading role for her performance in that film.

Sanjay Dutt won best actor in a leading role for his performance in Vaastav.

The award ceremony, watched by a world-wide television audience of more than 1 billion, was hosted by India's Miss World 1999 Yukta Mookhey and legendary Bollywood star Anupam Kher.

Audience of 1billion

Guests at Bollywood's answer to the Oscars included Oscar-winner Angeline Jolie, Kylie Minogue, the UK's Miranda Richardson and Thora Birch, of American Beauty fame.

Ms Minogue performed her new single Spinning Around at the awards. The singer emerged from the darkness on a swing suspended about 30ft in the air before being lowered to join in a spectacular dance routine.

The ceremony - the first of its kind - is aimed at getting international recognition for Bollywood, the centre of the Indian film industry.

I don't only do action and comedy you know. I'm a good singer and I'm not too expensive

Jackie Chan
Angeline Jolie has never appeared in a Bollywood film but told BBC News 24 that she was attending "to learn about the people and their culture".

The actress expressed interest in playing a Bollywood role but admitted that her singing and dancing were not the best.

The India film industry is one of the biggest in the world, and the organisers are hoping to bridge the gap between Hollywood and Bollywood.

India's movie stars are treated like gods back home.

Increasingly, Bollywood is coming to Britain to film and sell its movies.

Fantasy world

The film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (Something Happens To My Heart) was shot partly in Scotland and made it to the UK top-10 film list.

Worldwide, 800 million tickets are sold each year. Britain is the second-biggest market outside India, worth around $45m(30m).

Ms Mookhey said Bollywood's appeal is that it transports the ordinary person on the street into a fantasy world.

"I don't think the common man on the street has much other than a monotonous job to look forward to," she said.

Shahrukh Khan
Shahrukh Khan received a special award
"And so when he has films and film stars who are able to take him into a fantasy world for three hours, and he's able to feel good and laugh and cry - I think that's what makes him happy," she says.

But despite their popularity amongst British Asians, the films are not reviewed by mainstream arts critics, who believe they are an acquired taste.

"I think the image is very much of sari-clad women singing songs, four-hour running time - which is a huge turn-off - and cheesy production values," says Tom Charity, film critic with Time Out magazine.

But not everybody agrees.

"There are some really beautiful, well-crafted films being made with equal status as those coming out of Hollywood," says Keith Khan of Moti Roti theatre.

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See also:

26 Apr 00 | Entertainment
London to host Bollywood awards
18 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Bollywood dreams of Scotland
07 Mar 00 | South Asia
Lloyd Webber's Bollywood dream
23 Mar 00 | South Asia
Bollywood's wax dreams
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