TOIFA Technical Awards

Last night team Desi Ink had the opportunity to join the festivities celebrating the unsung heroes of the film industry, the creative individuals behind the scene. The Technical awards were hosted by Karan Johar and Chitrangadha Singh who were very charming and witty together, and I quite enjoyed their comedic timing. The best moments are always the ones that aren’t scripted and last night was no different; Karan cracked the audience up with the revelation that he hadn’t felt “lucky” in nearly a decade, where Chitrangdha chatted about Yash Chopra’s cellulite, rather than celluloid. 
Notable Award Winners Included:
Best Editing – Kahaani
Best Choreography – Chikni Chameli (Agneepath)
Best Special Effects – Raaz
Best Story – Kahaani
Best Screenplay – Kahaani
Best Costumes – Barfi
Best Action – Ek Tha Tiger
{Anushka Sharma}
Presenters for the evening included; Shahrukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Mugdha Godse, Aditi Rao Hydari, R. Madhavan, and Harmen Baweja. Harmen wowed the audiences with his Punjabi language skills, to which Karan Johar said; I know one line in Punjabi “tenu Punajbi bolni aandi hai?” Things I never thought I’d see – Karan Johar speaking Punjabi.
shahrukh khan{Shahrukh presenting the award for Best Screenplay to Kahani}
Speaking of rare things to see, Manish Malhotra presented his stunning collection in tribute to 100 years of cinema. Starting out with black and white, and greyscale pieces that were elegant and very Mughal inspired, he move through every decade of film showcasing iconic pieces and styles (we promise to bring you a full recap in the magazine later this month). Our favourite era displayed was the 70′s, great clothes and perfect styling. The Manish Malhotra show was closed out with the bridal collection being showcased by Urmila Matondkar, Raveena Tandon, Neha Dhupia, Sonal Chauhan, and Nargis Fakhri.
urmilla watermarked
If you aren’t already following us on Twitter and Facebook, that is where you will get our latest updates on TOIFA!

Shreyas Talpade, Chunkey Pandey and Boman Irani are Ready for TOIFA!

By: Raj Thandhi @pinkchai online

The countdown to TOIFA is on and Vancouver has full blown Bollywood fever! As I walked into the media centre at the Pacific Rim hotel this morning, fans were lined up in the rain to catch just a glimpse of their favourite Bollywood celebs – there is some serious devotion in the air. 

I got a chance to catch up with Shreyas Talpade and Chunkey Pandey who will be hosting the red carpet at the award show, and my favourite adorable Parsee, Boman Irani, who is going to be a segment host with Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma on the big night. _MG_5407{Shreyas Talpade. Photo Credit: Crossroads Media}

Shreyas arrived looking dapper in his fitted suit and fedora (very slick, but quite unexpected for him). The veteran actor of Marathi cinema has best been known to Indian film fans as SRK’s BFF in Om Shanti Om, and Anthony Gonzalavez and Laxmaan in the Golmaal series.  He was very soft spoken and quite complementary about the scenery and people in Vancouver. He did however say that his wife would prefer it here more than him because she likes cold winters, and he would like to come back for a visit in the summer. 

 photo 2

{Chunkey Pandey}

So I didn’t get a whole lot of time to chat with the funny man Mr. Pandey, but I did catch him in the lobby on my way out where he told me that he is looking forward to joking around on the red carpet and making Vancouver smile. I must say – his own smile is quite endearing!

boman 2{Boman Irani}

Can I just say, not only is Boman Irani an amazing actor, he is one of my favourite event hosts too! So excited to see what he has in store for us on Saturday night. We got to talking about 100 years in film, his lead role in Shrin Aur Farhad Ki To Nikal Padhi, and how he feels about the role of females in the Indian Film Industry today….but to find out all of this thoughts, you will have to get yourself a copy of our next edition of Desi Ink. That’s right, full interviews and lots more Bollywood Masala will be available in our April/May edition releasing shortly after TOIFA.

Bollywood Touches Down in Vancouver!

Some of your favourite Bollywood stars will be landing in Vancouver today, Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013, and YVR is giving fans a chance to catch a glimpse!

After yesterday’s arrival of the Bachchans, Vancouver’s Bollybuffs are a buzz waiting for the arrival of their favourite stars, and here’s your chance!

Celebrities will be arriving through Vancouver International Airport throughout the day (flights land at 1:25pm, 2:35pm and 6:40pm). An official Welcome Area for fans and media has been set up to see stars such as:

Shiamak Davar, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan at BC Place on April 1, 2013

Shiamak Davar, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Abhishek Bachchan at BC Place on April 1, 2013

-          Comedian and one of the hosts of TOIFA, Boman Irani

-          Neha Dhupia, host of the Music Extravaganza taking place at the Pacific Coliseum on Friday, April 5th

-          Hard Kaur, performer at Friday’s Music Extravaganza

-          Best Director nominee, Anurag Basu, for Barfi!

-          Best Director nominee, Gauri Shinde, for English Vinglish

-          Fashion Designer, Manish Malhotra

-          Bollywood and Punjabi Film Actor, Jimmy Shergill

and so many more that we can’t name just yet! Head down to for your chance to see the stars first and maybe even talk to them, get an autograph or take a picture.

The Welcome Area is located in the East Concourse, International Terminal, Level 3 (Departures) near the Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel.

By Vineeta Minhas (@vinminhas)
freelance writer

We are excited to partner with VancityBuzz (Vancouver’s #1 online blog site) to bring them their TOIFA coverage. This article originally appeared on Vancity Buzz – Bollywood Touches Down in Vancouver!

Couture Fashions from Satya Paul and Armaan – DBG Rock the Runway at TOIFA Women’s Day Celebration

Last Saturday the River Rock Theatre played host to the Times of India Film Awards’ (TOIFA) first major event in celebration of Women’s Day. The event featured a panel of local and Indian women including, local radio personality Sushma Dutt, and Bollywood beauties Dia Mirza, Diana Hayden, and Perizaad Zoriban.

Following the TOIFA Women’s Day panel discussion, there were fashion shows by local designer Davi Bains-Gill of Armaan, and a showing by power fashion house from India Satya Paul. First to come down the runway were designs by Armaan and they did not disappoint. When I think of Davi’s designs, I think of elegant yet classic pieces. There was a range of silhouettes and styles, but the fabrics were very traditional, and highlighted by classic Armaan style embroidery. The piece that was really the talk of the evening though was the fitted lace jumpsuit. You have to have a certain body type for that look – but if you’ve got it, that is a definite show stopping piece. I’m looking forward to seeing Davi’s designs featured throughout the wedding season this year.

Armaan Fashion ShowArmaan Jumpsuit 1Armaan Jumpsuit2The second show was a retro-inspired collection by Satya Paul, and the ramp models were ten of the finalists for Femina Miss India 2013 – beautiful girls! I had a chance to chat with many of these young women before the show, and it sort of turned my opinion on beauty pageants a little, these girls were a serious combination of beauty and brains. They walked the Satya Paul ramp with confidence and grace, which was highlighted of course by the designers’ signature colourful pallet.

The Satya Paul show started with a series of sari’s featuring various colours, sequin and Swarovski work, and some kitschy prints (my personal favourite was the one with the cassette tapes), and was followed up by an anarkali collection. Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but for me it’s always about the Satya Paul saris. The good news is, Satya Paul’s full line is now available at their flagship Satya Paul Canada store in Toronto and can also be ordered online.

Satya Paul SarisDSC_3566Of course, no show would be complete without a showstopper, and the show did stop when the gorgeous Dia Mirza walked the ramp for Satya Paul. I have to say, I saw her at dress rehearsals sans-makeup and on the runway fully done up; stunning both times. The former Miss Asia-Pacific is grace personified.

Dia Mirza RunwaySatya Paul Anarkali It was an amazing evening and quite a treat for a fashion lover like me. If this is how the TOIFA season has kicked off, I can’t wait to see what’s next!

By Raj Thandhi (@pinkchai)
fashion writer at Pink Chai Style


TOIFA Vancouver’s Women’s Day Celebration

Six remarkable women, hailing from India and B.C., took to the stage on Saturday at Richmond’s River Rock Show Theatre to discuss today’s woman for TOIFA’s Women’s Day Celebration. There was no better way to motivate, elevate and celebrate women than listening to their experiences at TOIFA Vancouver’s inaugural event.

TOIFA Women's Day Panelists

TOIFA Women’s Day Panelists

Guests were invited by TOIFA Vancouver to not only celebrate women, but to also raise funds for the Minerva Foundation for B.C. Women, a non-profit organization that actively promotes women in leadership roles.

Dinner tables cloaked in white linens and topped with sparkling dinnerware sprawled out before a stage that was illuminated by a red backlit screen. The TOIFA logo loomed high and the words Global Empowerment Of Women scrawled underneath in a bold, neat typeface.

The brainy and talented women got comfortable in cushioned chairs on stage, aglow in crimson from the lit backdrop, and spoke compelling words that sent powerful jolts of motivation throughout the crowd, which consisted of a healthy mix of females and males.

The discussion was moderated by CBC’s Belle Puri. Not to be outdone by the accolades and arresting qualities of the others, Puri is an award-winning journalist with over 30 years of experience. In 2010, she was appointed press secretary to former premier Gordon Campbell.

As the discussion gained momentum and passion, guests applauded each panelist as they began to reveal themselves through their stories, proving to be not much different than the rest of us. Who knew?

The panelists:

Honourable Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development. Cadieux is a bona fide political participant, active in the areas of open government, youth, health and freedom of information. In 2007, she was voted one of Business in Vancouver’s 40 under 40. It is worth mentioning that Cadieux has been a wheelchair user since the age of 18.

“Today’s forum reminds us that as British Columbians, South Asians and as women, there is much more that unites us than divides us.”

Dia Mirza, Bollywood actress and Miss Asia Pacific 2000. Outside of acting, she is a humanitarian, philanthropist and entrepreneur – co-founding a film production house.

“Nothing can be more empowering than being able to make your own choices, being free to make your own choices.” Throughout her childhood, Mirza was encouraged by her parents to cultivate her individuality and independence in a country that largely quashes those freedoms among women.

Dia Mirza

Dia Mirza

Shushma Dutt, entrepreneur and broadcaster. Dutt is iconic in the lower mainland’s South Asian community having been active as a broadcaster in radio and television since the early 70s. For many of us, there isn’t a time when Dutt wasn’t in the background. She is also a mother.

“I’ve been able to give a voice to those who do not have one.” Dutt explaining the journalistic duty she felt towards her immigrant female viewers who, at the time, were trapped within the paradox of old Indian beliefs and modern western living.

Perizaad Zorabian, Bollywood actress and entrepreneur. Raised in India, Perizaad obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in New York before entering Bollywood. Currently, she is busy assisting her father in his poultry farm business, running her restaurant and being a mother and wife.

“It was wonderful to be a child without a sense of fearlessness. . . I try to give my children the same opportunities my parents gave me.” Her voice cracked at the utterance of family and our hearts went out to her. She trucked on, her words wrought with emotion as she struggled to regain her composure.

This was a poignant moment in that it was so womanly. Emotion is a quality most associated with females, it is intrinsic. To accept women is to embrace every quality that makes a woman.

Dr. Shimi Kang, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia. Having trained as a physician at Harvard, she has over ten years of experience in the medical world, particularly in women’s and children’s health. She has received awards in the fields of addictions and mental health. In 2010, she was invited to join the David Suzuki Foundation as a member of the climate change counsel. She is also a mother and wife.

“I am a great juggler.” Kang is referring to the great act that the multi-faceted woman of today performs, juggling. Her hope and ambition is that it becomes less juggle and more balance for her children and future generations.

Diana Hayden, Bollywood actress and Miss World 1997. As a result of her parents break-up, then 13-year-old Hayden dropped out of school and has been working ever since. She got herself a bachelor’s degree in English and today she is a model, actress and author.

“You never lose until you give up. That’s when you’ve lost.” Hayden, the most prolific speaker of the night, impressed upon us the notion of no pain, no gain. “It doesn’t come easy.”

She ended her piece by reminding everyone that at the time women began fighting for equality, like-minded men also had barriers to break. “In the beginning when women were fighting for our rights, it’s men that let our voices be heard – so, thank you for that.”

International Women’s Day is this Friday, March 8.

Happy Women’s Day!

By Neelam Sharma (@_neelamsharma)
freelance writer

We are excited to partner with VancityBuzz (Vancouver’s #1 online blog site) to bring them their TOIFA coverage. This article originally appeared on Vancity Buzz – TOIFA Vancouver’s Women’s Day Celebration

TOIFA Satya Paul Fashion Show featuring Dia Mirza & Femina Miss India Finalists

On Saturday night the Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) hosted an evening celebrating successful women from British Columbia and India. The event was a kick-off of sorts for the upcoming TOIFA awards being held in Vancouver this April. The panel for the Women’s Day event included; Dia Mirza, Diana Hayden, and Perizaad Zoriban, who shared the stories behind their success and some of the lessons they’ve learned along the way.

Following the panel there was a retro inspired fashion show by Satya Paul, who has recently launched their brand in Canada with a flagship store in Toronto. The show was choreographed by Marc Robinson, Creative Director at Femina Miss India, and featured 10 state pageant winners from the contest, who are also in the running to be Miss India 2013. The show finished off with a bang when Dia Mirza walked the ramp as showstopper, as always she was stunning!

Femina Girls Backstage

Femina Miss India Contestants Backstage

I had lots of fun hanging out with the Femina Miss India contestants backstage – they are a giggly bunch and enjoyed posing for shots.


Anukriti – Femina Miss India Contestant

Zoya Afroz

Zoya Afroz – Femina Miss India Contestant

Sagarika Chhetri

Sagarika Chhetri – Femina Miss India Contestant

Navneet Kaur Dhillon

Navneet Kaur Dhillon – Femina Miss India Contestant

Gail Nicole Da Silva

Gail Nicole Da Silva – Femina Miss India Contestant

Dia Mirza - Satya Paul Showstopper

Dia Mirza – Satya Paul Showstopper

The evening event wrapped up at the Desi Ink Lounge after-party hosted by us – Desi Ink Magazine, and was a full house!

Desi Ink Editor, Neesha Hothi, with Femina Miss India Contestants at the Afterparty

Desi Ink Editor, Neesha Hothi, with Femina Miss India Contestants at the Afterparty (Photo Credit: Gautam Arora)

By Raj Thandhi(@pinkchai)
fashion writer at Pink Chai Style

Desi Ink is exclusively covering TOIFA in Vancouver for Miss Malini, one of India’s top entertainment bloggers. This article originally appeared on Miss Malini –

TOIFA News: Satya Paul Comes to Vancouver

With the Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) coming to Vancouver in April there is Bollywood buzz everywhere and we’re bringing you the first scoop of the award season; power fashion house Satya Paul will be displaying their latest collection at a Women’s Day celebration on March 2nd.

desi ink, satya paul, satya paul canada, toifa vancouver, toifa awards{Bollywood Actress Malaika Arora walks the ramp for Satya Paul}

Hosted by the TOIFA, an evening celebrating successful women from British Columbia and India will include speakers such as the Honourable Stephanie Cadeaux, Minister of Children & Family Development, while Satya Paul will rock the runway with their bold iconic pieces. We connected with Satya Paul COO, Rajiv Grover to get his thoughts on the collaboration; “Our retro back to the future theme collection will appeal to today’s vibrant, confident, fashion forward woman. Showcasing our designs on March 2 comes on the heels of Satya Paul’s flagship Canadian store that’s opened in Toronto – we couldn’t be more thrilled!”

Satya Paul has been a coveted brand in India for years, and recently made their first foray into the Canadian market by opening a location in Toronto, under the management of Tami Esmail. This is the first time, the brand will show a collection in Vancouver, and a rare treat for fashion lovers in our city. Satya Paul is known for their bold colourful prints, and their unique use of colour blocking and pattern mixing, and with a theme like “retro back to the future” they are guaranteed to dazzle on the runway.

The evening will also feature Dia Mirza, Former Miss Asia Pacific and actor; Diana Hayden, Former Miss World and actor and Perizaad Zorabian, actor and entrepreneur. We can hardly wait to see these beauties in action on the runway!

desi ink, dia mirza, satya paul vancouver show, dia mirza, toifa, toifa vancouver{Dia Mirza}

The event itself is a private, by invitation only event, being held as a fundraiser supporting the Minerva Foundation. As well as the Satya Paul fashion show; local designer Davi Bains will also showcase a collection. 

By Raj Thandhi (@pinkchai)
fashion writer at Pink Chai Style

TOIFA Vancouver’s First Official Event – Women’s Day Celebration

TOIFA Vancouver’s first event is set to kick-off the celebration of women a tad early at the Femina Miss India Women’s Day Celebration on March 2.

desi ink, dia mirza, satya paul vancouver show, toifa awards, toifa, toifa vancouver, femina miss india, women's day{Miss Femina Contestants}

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8, the fundraiser/forum will commemorate women and raise funds for the Minerva Foundation for B.C. Women, a non-profit organization seeking to motivate and elevate women into leadership roles.

Moderated by the CBC’s Belle Puri, key figures from India and Vancouver will take the stage to engage in a panel discussion. Panelists include the Honourable Stephanie Cadeaux, Minister of Children & Family Development; Dia Mirza, Former Miss Asia Pacific and Actor; Diana Hayden, Former Miss World and Actor; Perizaad Zorabian, Actor and Entrepreneur; Dr. Shimi Kang, Clinical Associate Professor UBC; Shushma Dutt, Entrepreneur. The night will see the two nations seamlessly stitched together with a common thread – women. The event promises a prominent guest-list studded with a few surprises.

Two fashion shows will then showcase the work of local designer Davi Bains-Gill and Indian designer Satya Paul. If there is one topic that most women can carry on, it’s fashion. No doubt this gala event will be peppered with sequined dresses and saris, paired with spiked heels, glitzy jewellery and topped off with a French knot.

The evening will close off with some local entertainment and a post-event reception hosted by Desi Ink Magazine.

Born in India and raised here, Davi Bains-Gill worked for the Ministry of Social Services for eight years before bringing her passion for fashion into fruition. Photographs of her ultra-feminine designs are available for perusal on her label’s Facebook page, Armaan DBG, which has garnered over 1700 likes. Premier Christy Clark asked the local fashionista to outfit her in Armaan DBG’s Bollywood-inspired designs for the TOIFA Vancouver event.

Her work features baby doll dress style salwaars (shirt of the Indian pants-suit) along with fitted cuts that flirt with the body’s curves, billowy lenghas (long skirt) built from yards of brightly-patterned fabric, and sheer chunris (Indian scarf or wrap) with twinkling embroidered borders. She also fashions textiles for men, children and brides.

“When I sit down and create pieces I’m thinking it’s going to be trend-setting, but the piece must be timeless. For the Times of India Women’s Day fashion show, I have chosen to showcase a collection that brings together traditional and western concepts.  The audience can look forward to seeing a collection that represents the East crossing with the West,” Bains-Gill says.

She has just arrived back in Vancouver after her trip to India, where she has been busy producing pieces for the upcoming show.

Miss Femina India is heralded as the oldest and most credible beauty pageant in India. Every year Miss Femina India sends three Indian beauties to the global pageant stage. Currently, Miss Femina India awards a Miss India World, Miss India Earth and Miss India International. Miss India World goes on to compete in Miss World, Miss India Earth competes in Miss Earth and Miss India International competes in Miss International.

The pageant is organized by Femina, a magazine published in India and owned by the Times Group.

The invite-only event will be held at the River Rock Casino and Resort in Richmond.

By Neelam Sharma (@_neelamsharma)
freelance writer

This article originally appeared on Vancity Buzz – TOIFA Vancouver’s First Official Event – Women’s Day Celebration

TOIFA Vancouver – Tickets are Now on Sale!

We are excited to partner with Vancity Buzz (Vancouver’s #1 online blog site) to bring them their TOIFA coverage.

Tickets for this hotly-anticipated event are officially on sale as of 10 a.m. today. The multi-day Times Of India Film Awards (TOIFA) event held in Vancouver boasts a TOIFA 2013 Music Extravaganza on April 4 at the Pacific Coliseum, movie screenings and the technical awards on April 5 and a red carpet awards gala at BC Place on April 6.

Ticket prices for the TOIFA Awards night are as follows:

Upper bowl – $47 to $62
Lower bowl – $123.75 to $173.75
Floor seats – $173.75 to $1523.75

Ticketmaster is offering a premium and premium plus package deals that include one ticket to the awards gala at B.C. place and one ticket to the Music Extravaganza at Pacific Coliseum. These prices run at a hefty $2523.75 to $3273.75 for best available seat.

toifa tickets, shah rukh khan, toifa vancouver, toifa 2013, toifa awards, desi inkTickets for the TOIFA Vancouver 2013 Music Extravaganza can be purchased separately through Prices range from $65 to $500.

The TOIFA Awards night promises pure glamour and entertainment as Bollywood is set to takeover BC Place with big names like, Shah Rukh Kahn, Ranbir Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma and many more. Who would you like to see win one, or all 14, of the peoples’ choice awards? The voting polls are open.

By Neelam Sharma (@_neelamsharma)
freelance writer

This article originally appeared on Vancity Buzz – Times of India Film Awards Vancouver Tickets on Sale Now!

Times of India Film Awards – Voting Polls Are Now Open

We are excited to partner with Vancity Buzz (Vancouver’s #1 online blog site) to bring them their TOIFA coverage.

The Times of India Film Awards, which are being hosted in Vancouver from April 4-6, have just announced their nominations in 14 people’s choice categories, and the race is on.

desi ink, barfi movie, ranbir kapoor, priyanka chopra, toifa awards, toifaCategories announced include: Best Actor (Male & Female), Best Director, Best Film, Best Actor in a Comic Role – which I’m most excited about – and more.

TOIFA is unique in that they are a people’s choice awards show, and are relying on Indian film buffs to cast their votes in every category. As well as the voter based awards, there will be 12 technical and six critics’ choice awards that will be chosen by the TOIFA Advisory Panel.

A quick glance at the nomination list shows a real mix of genres and themes being represented at the award show. The best film category includes: Kahaani, Barfi, Paan Singh Tomar, Vicky Donor and Gangs of Wasseypur – everything from a thriller to a romantic comedy to a social film.

Looking at the list has me wondering how many of the stars represented will be strutting their stuff in Vancouver in a few months. We’ve already heard that Ranbir Kapoor and Anushka Sharma will be hosting the event, and that Shah Rukh Khan, Abhishek Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra are confirmed to attend. As for anyone else, I guess we’ll just have to wait and watch.

In the meantime, get your votes in by visiting the Times of India Film Awards voting page and make sure your favourites make it to the main stage come April.

By Raj Thandhi (@pinkchai)
fashion writer and blogger at Pink Chai Style

This article originally appeared on Vancity Buzz – Times of India Film Awards; Polls are Now Open