Bollywood director Rajkumar Hirani was the toast of the International Indian Film Awards on Saturday, June 5, with his movie "3 Idiots" winning 16 trophies. The movie, starring Aamir Khan, broke box office records upon its release in India last year and swept the board at the annual ceremony in Sri Lanka, taking more than half of the 27 awards.
It won the main nods for Best Director and Best Film, as well as a string of others including Male Performance in a Supporting Role for actor Sharman Joshi. However, the event was overshadowed by political protesting, which kept many of the top winners away.
Amitabh Bachchan, who was named Best Actor for his role in "Paa", was absent from the ceremony to support locals protesting against the treatment of Sri Lanka's Tamil citizens, many of whom are said to have died during the country's civil war which ended last year.
But some of the Bollywood stars who came to the event defended their presence at the movie awards. Shatrughan Sinha explains, "We are not representing north, east, west or south India, but I am representing the whole of India for that matter as a world citizen... And our only caste, our only religion, is entertainment."