'Chak De! India' sweeps IIFA awards show

Bangkok, June 9 (IANS) "Chak De! India", which won critical acclaim and mass popularity, also swept the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) 2008 awards here Sunday night as it was named the best film while superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Shimit Amin lifted the best actor and best director trophies respectively for the film. Kareena Kapoor was named the best acress for "Jab We Met".

However, Shah Rukh was not present at the gala and producer Yash Copra accepted the award on his behalf.

The film about a coach inspiring the Indian women's hockey team to victory also won awards for story and screenplay.

The best male and female style icons were Abhishek Bachchan and Katrina Kaif, respectively.

Music composer A.R. Rahman was honoured for "outstanding achievement by an Indian in international cinema".

While veteran filmmaker Shyam Benegal and Mumtaz, a popular star of the yesteryears, won the special honours for lifetime achievement, actor Akshay Kumar bagged the special award from the host country, Thailand.

The award for the best performance in a negative role went to Viveik Oberoi for "Shootout at Lokhandwala", while the one for the best performance in a comic role went to Govinda ("Partner").

Neil Nitin Mukesh was named "the fresh face of the year".

At the grand ceremony at Siam Niramik here, Karan Johar, Urmila Matondkar, Boman Irani and Ritesh Deshmukh compered Bollywood's much awaited award ceremony. It was the team of Boman and Ritesh that won the hearts of the audience with their easy repartee in a show that could, however, do with better management.

The 2,000-capacity hall was full, with a majority of the audience consisting of the Indian diaspora.

The award announcements were preceded by performances of songs from some eagerly awaited Hindi films and Govinda stole the show with his dance number.

Rahman was also named the best music director for his score in "Guru". Shreya Ghoshal won the honours for the best playback singer (female) for "Barso re" from Mani Ratnam's "Guru", which film also bagged awards for the best background score (Rahman) and best song recording (H. Sridhar).

The best playback singer (male) award was bagged by Shaan for "Jab se tere naina" from "Saawariya".

Veteran Javed Akhtar was named the best lyricist for "Om Shanti Om", which also garnered awards for best special effects (Red Chillies Entertainment), best art direction (Sabu Cyril), best costume design (Manish Malhotra, Karan Johar and Sanjeev Mulchandani) and best makeup.

The award for best screenplay was won jointly by Anurag Basu ("Life in a Metro") and Jaideep Sahni ("Chak De! India"). Sahni also won the award for best story for the same film.

"Chak De! India" also took home the trophy for best cinematography. Imtiyaz Ali was named the best dialogue writer for "Jab We Met".

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