WJTV News Channel 12 - Bollywood takes over Tampa

Bollywood takes over Tampa

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All around Tampa there are signs the International Indian film academy or "IIFA" is in town.

The equivalent of America's Oscars, film stars and their followers from across the globe have converged on Tampa for the four-day event, that kicked off with a huge crowd in Curtis Hixon park Wednesday night.

The "Bollywood" awards, as they are dubbed, are expected to draw up to 15,000 Indian visitors to Tampa, the first American city to host the awards.

Santiago Corrada with Visit Tampa Bay says, "This has always been about the long term positive effect of hosting this, becoming a gateway for India to America, and becoming India's favorite American city."

Daljit Parmar is a movie producer, originally from Mumbai, now living in Los Angeles.

He's taken advantage of the event to meet with potential investors, with the possibility of filming a movie in Tampa.

"I think we started exploring Tampa when we heard the Bollywood" awards were happening here and started trying to figure out what the incentives were and why we should shoot here,” Parmar said. “Now that I am here there are a lot of benefits that we are seeing now to explore to shoot here."

The IIFA awards are attracting a lot of Bollywood insiders and their followers.

The mayor of Tampa met with Indian business leaders with a long-term approach to be gained from this international event.

"We can't look at just the short term capital infusion, we need to look at what could be a decade long relationship in terms of foreign trade, opportunities in terms of tourism that's really were this will pay off,” Mayor Buckhorn added.

But with all those visitors, and so many events, traffic will be tight in some places, on some days, at certain times.

That's why the City of Tampa has an interactive map on Tampagov.net to help residents avoid some of the potential traffic headaches.

The events wraps up this weekend with the Bollywood awards, Saturday night at Raymond James stadium.

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