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IIFA kicks off on Thursday

Mumbai: The 12th IIFA Weekend in Toronto beginning on Thursday has a lavish three-day extravaganza in store for Bollywood fans in North America where the creme de la creme of the Hindi film industry will converge.

Karan Johar, Dia Mirza, Zayed Khan and a host of other celebrities have already left for Toronto.

Upcoming movies like `Love Breakup Zindagi`, `Aazaan`, `Politics of Love` and `Tell me O Kkhuda` will be showcased during the weekend.

This will be the second time that megastar Amitabh Bachchan and his family will not be attending the IIFA awards.

Bachchan has been brand ambassador of the event ever since its inception in 2000.

However, Bachchans gave the annual event a skip last year in Colombo following boycott calls from the South Indian film industry.

The IIFA Weekend this year, will open with the IIFA World Premiere of Double Dhamaal, a fast-paced comedy. The film, which is a sequel to the 2007 hit `Dhamaal`, stars Sanjay Dutt, Riteish Deshmukh, Kangna Ranaut, Mallika Sherawat, Arshad Warsi, Javed Jaaferi and Ashish Chaudhary. It is produced by Indra Kumar and Ashok Thakeria in association with Reliance Entertainment.

This year, IIFA also has a special treat in store for its Indo-Canadian fan base ? the IIFA Film Festival, set to take place at theatres across four cities of the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) beginning tomorrow. Kicking off this film festival will be `Chillar Party`, co-produced by Ronnie Screwvalla and Salman Khan`s Being Human (SKBH) Productions.

The IIFA Film Festival was initiated in 2005 to enable audiences in the host country to experience the flavour of Indian Cinema, showcasing some of the biggest blockbusters and films of repute, which have created a mark in the history of Indian Cinema.

The highlight this year would be coming together of the Deols on the IIFA stage for a `live` performance which they have never done before. Sizzling Priyanka Chopra will also perform at the awards ceremony.

Similarly, another highlight would be retrospective of showman Raj Kapoor movies to be held in association with the Toronto International Film Festival.

Actors Bipasha Basu , Kunal Kapoor, Rahul Khanna and Brett Lee will be the showstoppers at the IIFA Rocks, a fashion extravanganza organised for charity.

Superstar Shah Rukh Khan will attend the IIFA Weekend after a gap of five years and will also perform at the awards function. He had hosted the event in Amsterdam in 2005.

FICCI is organising the 12th edition of the FICCI-IIFA Global Business Forum, in association with the Ministry of Economic Development & Trade, Ontario on June 24.

The Global Business Forum is a platform where industry leaders and government officials from Canada & India will network to enhance trade and improve bilateral relations.

2011 Focus will be Education, Clean Technology & Environment, Tourism, and Media & Entertainment Sectors.

FICCI is taking a high level business delegation to Canada for the same. Delegates would take part in the Global Business Forum, attend the IIFA Awards and interact with representatives of at least 400 Ontario based companies and their government counterparts from respective sectors.

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