Ranbir Kapoor and Barfi! win big at IIFA awards

The film Barfi scooped top honours at the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards, India's version of the Oscars, at a ceremony in the Chinese gambling haven of Macau on Saturday that also celebrated a century of Bollywood, which makes up a big chunk of a multi-billion-dollar film industry.

Barfi is a romantic comedy about a mute and deaf man and his relationship with two women. The movie was praised by critics for its positive portrayal of physically disabled people, a somewhat unusual theme for Bollywood screenplays.

Ranbir at the IIFA awards: Reuters

Ranbir at the IIFA awards: Reuters

Hosted by Bollywood heartthrobs Shah Rukh Khan and Shahid Kapoor, the four-hour ceremony of pulsating dance routines and colourful costume changes was attended by an audience of over seven thousand screaming fans.

Some of Indian cinema's biggest names including Deepika Padukone set the Macau arena alight with high octane performances, while actors like Boman Irani and Vidya Balan graced the green carpet.

"We make musicals. I think every film is a musical. Every film has at least six to seven songs," said Ayushmann Khurrana, nominated for best actor after his debut in Vicky Donor, a romantic comedy about sperm donation. "So that is how Bollywood is completely different from Hollywood."

Best actress was won by Vidya Balan for "Kahani" while, Ranbir Kapoor for "Barfi" took home the award for best actor. "Barfi" also won the award for best film.

The choice of Macau to host the annual event comes as the gambling hub is pushing to diversify its customer base beyond the traditional casino punter who spends only on the baccarat tables rather than on entertainment, dining and hospitality.

Reuters