Indian blockbuster to bow at Bangkok festival

The world preem of Indian blockbuster “Sarkar Raj” will be one of the high points of the Intl. Indian Film Academy awards weekend that takes place in Bangkok June 6-8.

Pic is a sequel to 2005 hit “Sarkar,” which was a quasi-retread of “The Godfather,” helmed by Ram Gopal Varma.

It stars Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek Bachchan, and Abhishek’s wife Aishwarya Rai in their first role together since their wedding last April and “Guru.”

Amitabh Bachchan, who is also IIFA’s brand ambassador, held a press conference in Bangkok to give details of the multi-event spectacle that combines Indian cinema, a business forum, fashion show, community activities and red-carpet award presentation.

Another highlight is the award ceremony on June 8, which will take place at Siam Niramit Theater. The nominations this year include a flock of Indian A-listers including Abhishek Bachchan and Rai as well as Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Shashid Kapur, Abhishek Bachchan, Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Vidya Balan.

Films nominated for best picture include “Guru,” “Chak de! India,” “Jab We Met,” “Om Shanti Om,” “Life in a Metro” and “Partner.”

Sabbas Joseph, director of Wizcraft Intl. Entertainment, the company that initiated IIFA, said he picked Bangkok as the host because the two countries share cultural elements.

“The rise in investment between Thailand and India is another factor, as well as the fact that at least 30 Indian films were shot in Thailand over the past years,” he said.

The premiere will take place at Paragon Cineplex, part of the Major Cineplex Group, which recently struck a joint venture with Indian loop PVR.

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