IIFA stars respond to criticism about Indian elections - FOX 13 News

IIFA stars respond to criticism about Indian elections

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Anupam Kher poses with FOX 13's Hetal Gandhi Anupam Kher poses with FOX 13's Hetal Gandhi

Bollywood stomped its way into the hearts of the people of Tampa last night. Crowds of people packed Curtis Hixon Park for the International Indian Film Academy Awards 'Stomp' event.

"They inspired me. I really got pumped," exclaimed Anil Kapoor, known here for his roles in 'Slumdog Millionaire' and '24.' "I said, 'Go for it!' The madness in Tampa begins."

The Indian film industry's big awards ceremony is here in Tampa on Saturday, and more and more Bollywood film stars are arriving.

Anupam Kher, perhaps known best in America for his role in 'Silver Linings Playbook,' told FOX 13's Hetal Gandhi that he's excited about his new film, 'I Went Shopping for Robert DeNiro,' which debuts in Tampa this morning.

"We are larger than life. We celebrate cinema, we celebrate everything about life," Kher said of Bollywood. "But whenever I need to get over my rust as an actor, I head to Hollywood to do that."

But this week hasn't come without controversy. On Thursday morning, Kher was criticized by many on Twitter for not staying in India for important elections.

He responded to that criticism, saying he had planned to be in Tampa for IIFA months in advance.

"People feel like we're not supposed to be professionals. This is a commitment I made five months in advance," he said. "I needed to be here. I feel bad that I wasn't there to vote, but I put in a lot of money, and my film is having a world premiere."

Kapoor said he's been enjoying the Bay area, especially jogging along Bayshore. He'll be helping kick off a business forum this morning at the Tampa Convention Center, where business and political leaders will be talking about trade and commerce between India and America.

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