Abu Dhabi to host South Indian International Movie Awards

The sixth edition of South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) will see industry’s top stars descend to the Capital. The awards ceremony will be held for the first time in Abu Dhabi on June 30 and July 1 at the ICC Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

SIIMA chairperson Brinda Prasad said the UAE has been always welcoming and remains the first choice to host the event.

On selecting venues, she said: “We identify a destination with south Indian diaspora and then we look at the logistical side with availability of venue, partnership with government and other aspects. We do a lot of recces before arriving at a conclusion.”

On the next course of action, Brinda said: “About 450 people will travel from India. That’s the four south Indian industries, production and logistical crew, choreography team and elite partners among others. The core team will be here a week before the event. We will also be taking up to 20 visits before the show.”

She remained tight-lipped on special attractions.

“Abu Dhabi is the special aspect. We are hoping to bring as many stars as possible. The nomination list will give you an idea.”

Brinda, who run the show with her entrepreneur husband Vishnuvardhan Induri, said the sixth edition will be a grand affair. Among the confirmed performances are by actors Rana Daggubati and Shriya Saran.

Rana Daggubati holds fond memories of Abu Dhabi as he had stayed for a month shooting Bollywood thriller ‘Baby’. “Abu Dhabi just blew my mind away,” Daggubati said. “SIIMA is an incredible platform which is taking cinema and artists closer to fans.”

He said SIIMA exposes him to lot of things. “With SIIMA, it’s many years of joy celebrating our movies in different parts of the world.”

Shriya Saran has been associated with SIIMA since its inaugural edition. She loves SIIMA to the extent of ending vacation midway to catch the event. “I was in Berlin, came to Frankfurt and flew to Singapore to be part of SIIMA. And that’s the moment I realised that I am in love with SIIMA.”

Actor Jayam Ravi said SIIMA is a platform to bring four southern regional languages together.

On the new host, he said: “I haven’t spent so much time here before. Abu Dhabi is lovely place to be.”

Overseas promoter Era Entertainment director Anand P. Waindeshkar the SIIMA 2017 will be bigger, bolder and better.

He revealed SIIMA will be going live with virtual reality, which could be the first time ever for computer technology to be used at an award show.

“We are taking SIIMA live through a 360 degree camera. It’s an effort to do things differently this time.”

The event is supported by Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority. Title sponsor is Vivo, co-event organiser Sunray Events and destination management partner is Royal Arabian.

Tickets can be booked at ticketmaster.com from Friday.

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