The enthusiasm and interest in the mega event was palpable when Hindi film actors Anil Kapoor and Bipasha Basu arrived here on Thursday to officially announce Kuala Lumpur as the host city for the IIFA celebrations, scheduled for June 5-7.

The city is gearing up -- as Sabbas Joseph, director, Wizcraft International Entertainment, the organisers of IIFA, quipped -- "The Petronas Towers simply need an 'FA' to complete the acronym in the city's skyline.

Excited to be in Kuala Lumpur, Anil, whom Joseph addressed as 'Mr IIFA' courtesy his longstanding and close association with the event, is hoping that the forthcoming edition contributes to tourism from India here doubling in the year to come.

Anil, who plays a pivotal role in the ensemble cast of "Dil Dhadakne Do", is confident that the audience will enjoy the movie, which will be screened here just a day after its release.

The film cast includes Anil Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Ranveer Singh, Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar -- apart, the 16th IIFA Weekend will have Bipasha, Ayushmann Khurrana, Dia Mirza, Boney Kapoor, Sridevi, Arjun Kapoor, Parineeti Chopra, Alia Bhatt, Shahid Kapoor, Fawad Khan, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Jacqueline Fernandez and Sonakshi Sinha.Joseph says "this is just the first confirmed list".

Bipasha, looking graceful in a gown, recollected how she had won a Best Debutante Award at IIFA the first time it had happened in Malaysia -- at Genting Highlands -- in 2002.

IIFA celebrates the magic of Indian cinema in international territories. The aim is to establish mutual benefits for both India as well as the host destinations by boosting tourism, economic development, trade, culture, cross-border investments and film co-productions.

Every year, the show travels to a new destination, taking the film fraternity with it to amalgamate and celebrate the best of both cultures. Last year, in its 15th edition, the show made its US debut in Tampa Bay, Florida.

 

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