1st Volare Awards Concludes On Grand Note
The first edition of the Volare Awards, instituted to celebrate bilateral and cultural ties between Italy and India, concluded amidst much fanfare on Friday, February 9, 2018.
The event, held at a plush suburban hotel in Mumbai, was hosted by the Italian Embassy in India, the Consulate General of Italy in Mumbai, and the Italian National Tourism Board (ENIT). It was powered by Odu Movies and
Box Office India magazine.
In attendance at the grand event were heavyweights of the Indian film industry and Stefania Costanza, Consul General of Italy in Mumbai, Salvatore Ianniello, Head of ENIT and Stefania Ippoliti, President of the Italian Film Commission.
The who’s who of studios and production houses in the industry were well represented with the likes of Yash Raj Films (YRF), Sony Pictures, Fox Star Pictures, T-Series, Dharma Productions, Rohit Shetty Films, PVR, Panorama Studios, Viacom18 Motion Pictures, Luv Ranjan Films, Rajkumar Hirani Films, Waves Cinema and Ellipses Entertainment, among others, present at the event.
The formal evening commenced with a short visual journey of Indian films shot in Italy, to the tune of the Italian classic song Volare in an Indian rendition by well-known singer Shweta Pandit.
Taking to the stage were dignitaries from the Italian Embassy in India who emphasised the long history between the two countries and announced that the Indian film fraternity would now receive the same sort of fast track visa processing facilities that are offered to businesses as also attractive incentives to shoot in Italy.
As guests enjoyed the four-course meal and exquisite Prosecco wine, the graceful evening progressed into the awards segment, with the first award being presented to the legendary R K Films, with legendary producer, actor and director Randhir Kapoor receiving the award on their behalf. The award was given to mark the shoot of the first-ever Indian film to be filmed in Italy, Raj Kapoor’s Sangam.
The next award was presented to noted production house and studio Yash Raj Films, which was honoured for filming Bachna Ae Haseeno in Italy, a film that also saw great involvement from the Italian film offices. Receiving the award on their behalf was Ashish Singh, Vice-President, YRF.
A Volare Award was also given to acclaimed producer Sajid Nadiadwala for filming two movies in Italy (Housefull and Kambakhht Ishq). Award-winning filmmaker Imtiaz Ali also received a Volare Award for filming in Italy (Rockstar).
The highlight of the evening, of course, remained Padmaavat superstar Deepika Padukone, who elegantly accepted her award and thanked the organisers saying, “For me, cinema is like love. It can be made in any language, and you can understand the emotion it is trying to convey… Cinema has the power to bring the world and people together, and I thank you for recognising that.” She added that she is looking forward to a continued collaboration between the two nations.
Oscar Award-winning music composer A R Rahman was also conferred a Volare Award for his VR film Le Musk that was shot in the Italian capital Rome. Speaking about filming in Italy, Rahman said, “The reason I chose to shoot in Rome was that I didn’t want to get intimidated shooting my first movie in India. I wanted to escape to some place that was really picturesque. Anywhere you keep the 360 camera, it is beautiful. So I didn’t have much production work on that…”
Legendary icon Amitabh Bachchan was also awarded for his role in the film The Great Gambler that had been shot in Italy. The award was given to him in absentia.
The evening concluded on a joyous note, with the awardees taking to the stage for a group photograph along with the dignitaries and invitees networking and feasting on wonderful Italian cuisine and beverage.