Deepa Mehta: IIFA is Indian kitsch


Staff member

Indo-Canadian filmmaker Deepa Mehta has described the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards as "Indian kitsch".

The three-day Bollywood show does not represent Indian culture, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker said on Tuesday.

"Bollywood is not Indian culture, it's pop culture. There's a big difference," Mehta said.

To describe the IIFA Awards as a representation of Indian culture is just like calling teen pop sensation Justin Bieber a representative of Canadian culture, the Water director said.

Mehta, who was honoured at the 2007 IIFA Awards, said though she will attend the weekend ceremonies, she doubts whether the mega-show will enhance Bollywood's appeal in North America.

'It's hardly relevant'

She said North America can't add much to Bollywood. "It's hardly relevant," Mehta said.

Since IIFA organisers have been taking the show to the world's major cities each year to popularise Bollywood on the global stage, she said, "They are there for a purpose — they galvanise a nation for a period of time into really thinking about popular culture and that's fun. It's good, IIFA is what it is, which is pure entertainment but I think it's sort of dicey when you start thinking of it as something serious."