Aamir Khan’s blockbuster Dangal wasn’t nominated even in a single category in the IIFA nominations, and it was a big shock for the Aamir Khan Fans and audiences who loved the film so much. The wrestling drama, starring Aamir Khan, performed extraordinary at the box office and created many new records at the Indian box office and also for Indian cinema in China. When the nominations for the 18th edition of the International Indian Film Academy or IIFA Awards were broadcasted in May, the internet quickly possessed on siding Dangal from the nominations. Unarguably the best-reviewed film of last year, Dangal, were not nominated for the award show held last weekend in New York, came as a shock for everyone.
In a statement, however, the organizers of the IIFA Awards explained that the makers of Dangal didn’t sign up itself when the voting process of nominations started out in April. “So basically, in IIFA, forms are sent to various production houses. They fill those forms up and send it back to us. Those forms are then put out to the industry for voting and from there it becomes a nomination. So, Dangal has not sent their entry in. We would love Dangal to be a part of it. I think it’s a movie that’s broken all records. We love Aamir Khan and the two little girls. They did a great job. But unfortunately, they didn’t send their entry in. We feel sad,” says the statement from Andre Timmins, director of Wizcraft International which manages the IIFA events and the award ceremony.
There was no talk about of Akshay Kumar’s films Rustom and Airlift, which have been also overlooked in the IIFA nominations and that the 49-year-old superstar received this year’s National Award for Best Actor. The ruling out of Dangal from a list that included several major films from this past year, from Neerja and Pink to Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Salman Khan’s Sultan provoked wide-spread criticism online. Many of the tweets defined the IIFA as ‘fake’ and ‘waste of time’. As of now, IIFA preserved a stony silence. The statement from Wizcraft International comes just after Censor Board Chief Pahlaj Nihalani dismissed to the IIFA Awards as “international farce”. “Look at the hypocrisy. They haven’t even nominated Aamir Khan for Dangal and Akshay Kumar for Airlift and Rustom just because they wouldn’t attend their weekend holiday plans masquerading as an awards function,” said Pahlaj Nihalani in an interview with Hindustan Times.
“They were too tired after partying all night. What I want to know is who is paying for this extravagance? It is our foreign exchange being squandered as every top star is given tickets for his spouse, children, parents, ayahs, bodyguards, friends, friends of friends .…. I’ve heard stars are even given money to shop. Who is paying for all this? IIFA is selling Indian cinema to various countries and probably getting many financial benefits. But is the Indian government benefiting from this global event?” he asks. The producer and CBFC Chairman also added that “I think the day Mr. Bachchan opted out, IIFA lost its dignity and relevance. In 18 years, how much global impact has Indian cinema made and what hand did IIFA have in this? Initially, we had a cinema from various states getting token representation at the awards. Now we only have Bollywood. So why do they call themselves the International Indian films awards? It’s such a sham! Bollywood is not Indian cinema”.
It’s a very common fact that Aamir Khan has been boycotting all the Indian award shows since very long, including the National Awards for the past 16 years. It is also well known that Aamir Khan won the Best Actor Award for ‘Dangal’ this year at the Filmfare, although he didn’t attend the event. The 52-year old superstar performed as Haryanvi wrestler Mahavir Singh in Dangal, which leads to stratospheric heights after winning first India and then China, where it continues to run successfully. Dangal is the most profitable Indian film ever and has also been put on the fifth spot on the set of Highest-earning non-Hollywood movies in the world by Forbes.