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Academy Awards could learn some lessons from IIFA awards

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Published:   |   Updated: April 28, 2014 at 04:54 PM

I didn’t know what to expect when a friend offered me a ticket to the IIFA Magic of the Movies and Technical Awards on Friday.

Technical awards? I know just from watching TV clips from the Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards during the Oscars, this portion can be a yawn fest.

Nevertheless, I was going with a group of friends I traveled to India with a couple of years ago so I knew we’d make the most of it.

Here are 10 takeaways from the show held at the MidFlorida Amphitheatre.

1. Indians are fashionably late to everything. The ticket said it would start at 7 p.m. The show ended up starting closer to 9 p.m. (Since I attended a wedding in India, this was not surprising.)

2. They don’t drag out the awards portion. There were no nominees, no clips to watch, no stupid intros. The hosts called out the presenters and the presenters named the category and winner. Done. Even the winners speeches were only about a minute long.

3. All the big Indian movie stars also attend the technical awards (of course, most were late). The camera would show a star and the crowd would go wild. Again and again.

4. Speaking of stars, heartthrob Hrithik Roshan got the most response. (Think Indian Bradley Cooper.) He even jumped up on stage and danced during a rap song. Yes, rap song. The Indian actresses are drop-dead gorgeous. Sorry, Angelina Jolie, you look like a bag lady next to Deepika Padukone.

6. The singer you’re watching dance to incredible choreography is actually one of their most famous movie stars. Oh yeah, this is Bollywood.

7. If you’re a backup dancer, forget about it, no one is here to see you. I was so impressed by all the dancers who performed during EVERY song, each having its own detailed choreography. But the camera never panned to a backup dancer once. It was all about the lead actor/dancer/singer or another actor sitting in the audience.

8. Indian culture is a still mix of traditional and modern. A classical musician singing in Hindi wearing a kurta was followed by an Indian rapper in dark sunglasses and T-shirt.

9. Watching and listening to the crowd was as entertaining as the actual show. Many spontaneously stood and danced in their seats and the hooting and hollering when they showed a movie star on screen was priceless.

10. I’m glad I wasn’t one of my colleagues writing on deadline.

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