IIFA Awards stage under construction at Ray Jay

Tampa, Florida -- The stage is nearly set for the IIFA Awards show at Raymond James Stadium.

The International Indian Film Academy Awards will be held on Saturday night in Tampa, the first time in the awards ceremony's 15-year history they've been given out outside of India.

Viraf Sakari, founder and director of IIFA is responsible for transforming Raymond James Stadium into a Bollywood showplace.

"We've been working on this for months," said Sakari as he gave the media a look at the stage construction.

The IIFA Awards celebrate the best in Indian film-making, and the ceremonies are always huge productions. Sakari said this year's show will also be its most technologically advanced.

"We've got fantastic lighting and we've got LED screens on the entire stage," said Sakari. "We're going to create different visuals and different kind of graphics that's going to make the entire show happen."

Also helping to make the show happen are hundreds of technicians and entertainers... many of them from the Tampa area.

"If we have 50 people from India, or 100 people working on this production, there are a thousand people working from Tampa or Florida," said Sakari.

And Sakari promises the show itself will have a definite Tampa flavor, including DJ Ravi Drums, who grew up in Tampa and created a new song for the show. Sakari also says Tampa Bay will feature prominently in the awards show's opening number, but he's keeping it secret until Saturday night.

"It's in our blood to make something big. We don't want to do something that's small, so the vision is large," said Sakari. "I'm sure this is one of the largest productions for a lot of award ceremonies that happen in this part of the world."


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