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Road trip film sweeps awards at 'Bollywood Oscars'

SINGAPORE -- Director Zoya Akhtar's road trip drama “Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara” swept the top honors, including best picture and best director, at the “Bollywood Oscars” held late Saturday in Singapore.

The movie, which loosely translates to “You Won't Get A Second Life,” scooped up nine awards including best supporting actor for the director's brother Farhan Akhtar and best story at the annual ceremony.

“This evening is turning out to be more fabulous than expected ... I thank my crew and I beg them to do my next film,” a jubilant Zoya Akhtar said in her acceptance speech.

The movie traces a soul-searching bachelor trip to Spain by three inseparable friends played by heartthrobs Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol and Farhan Akhtar.

It was seen as a strong contender at the 13th International Indian Film Academy awards, which was taking place for the second time in Singapore, and did not disappoint.

Elsewhere, Vidya Balan won best actress for her role in “The Dirty Picture,” a loosely based biopic about the tumultuous life of South Indian sex siren “Silk Smitha.”

Ranbir Kapoor, the latest member of the legendary Kapoor clan to enter the Bollywood fold, won best actor for his role as an aspiring professional musician in the pulsating romantic drama “Rockstar.”

Indian music maestro and Oscar award winner A.R. Rahman won the nod for best music direction in the same movie.

Some 10,000 fans were at the Singapore Indoor Stadium to watch the four-hour ceremony which included high-octane song and dance performances, organizers said.

Another 800 million were estimated to have watched the TV broadcast of the awards ceremony, they added.

A three-day festival leading up to the night saw the world premiere of political thriller “Shanghai,” a glitzy fashion show and film workshops for Bollywood fans in Singapore.

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