Bollywood's Jodhaa Akbar wins at Indian film awards

Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:03pm EDT
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By James Pomfret

MACAU (Reuters) - Indian epic film Jodhaa Akbar scooped top honours in India's version of the Oscars at a ceremony in the Chinese gambling haven of Macau Saturday.

Some of Indian cinema's biggest names including Amitabh Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan graced the green carpet, as thousands of fans screamed and jostled for autographs at the annual IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) awards.

The night's big winner in an awards ceremony replete with circus performers, fireworks and high-octane Bollywood dance routines was Jodhaa Akbar, about a 16th century Muslim emperor who marries a Hindu princess.

The film picked up awards including best picture and best director for Ashutosh Gowariker, while heart-throb Hrithik Roshan won best male actor and A.R. Rahman best music direction.

The film's director said the central theme of religious tolerance was a vital one for contemporary Indian society.

"Yes, we do need a Hindu-Muslim alliance ... we do need a dynamic secular India in the 21st century," said Gowariker.

India, home to the world's most prolific movie industry, has tried to broaden its global appeal through the annual IIFA awards, held in a different city each year.

"Any audience is important to us, and China is a huge market, we love Chinese films back home and I hope they enjoy our films," said actor Abhishek Bachchan, who won "best performance in a comic role."   Continued...

<p>REFILE - ADDING AWARD CATEGORIES Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan celebrates after winning the Best Leading Role award for the movie Jodhaa Akbar and Best Style Icon award at the 10th International Indian Film Academy in Macau June 13, 2009. REUTERS/Bobby Yip</p>