The fifth edition of the South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) to recognise stars and technicians of the Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam film industries, was held last week. The two-day event in Singapore was sold out and turned out to be a mega hit with the South Indian diaspora.
They could watch leading stars from all four South Indian languages on stage, with 12 performances over two days. The highlight was the live performance of Tamil music director Anirudh (of Kolaveri fame) performing on stage. Two big movies had a special unveiling: A single from Sivakarthikeyan’s Remo was launched along with Vikram’s Irumugan Telugu title and teaser.
On day one Telugu megastar-turned-politician Chiranjeevi stole the show with his presence, at a time when he is coming back to the big screen with his 150th film. The legendary singer S Janaki, got a lifetime achievement award which was presented by Chiranjeevi and Usha Uthup. The mood was pure nostalgia, as she belted out golden oldies from all south Indian language movies in the presence of veteran heroines like Suhasini Maniratnam, Radhika Sarathkumar, Khushboo, Sripriya among others.
Top leading ladies like Shruti Haasan, Samantha, Nithya Menen along with top star Allu Arjun, added glamour to the event. Music director Devi Sri Prasad delighted the audiences with an electrifying performance. The selfie taken at the end of the evening, by the tallest man on stage Rana Dagubatti (whose Baahubali swept all major awards), was another highlight.
Day two was dedicated to the Tamil and Malayalam film award presentation. It saw a galaxy of stars like Vikram, Jayam Ravi, Sivakarthikeyan, GV Prakash, Prithviraj, Nivin Pauly, Nayanthara, Hansika, Radhika Apte, Vedika, Aishwarya Rajesh among others. Veteran writer and producer Panju Arunachalam got the lifetime achievement award. Sivakarthikeyan launched his Remo single at the event, while Anirudh stole the show with his exhilarating and explosive performance. The presenters — Mirchi Shiva and Satish — brought the house down with their awesome presentation and comedy. The highlight of the evening was the first official sighting of leading lady Nayanthara and her beau, the director Vignesh Shivan. Nayanthara insisted on getting her best actress award from him, and when Vignesh got his own award, he said, “Nayan is a good human being” and they hugged on stage.
It was terrific television content for Sun Network, who will telecast the event through their channels in all four south Indian languages. There were enough television moments to get record TRPs like Nayanthara-Vignesh Shivan acknowledging that they are a pair. S Janaki’s emotional acceptance speech and singing songs along with yesteryear heroines was another great television moment. And when Allu Arjun got on stage with Anirudh and danced, or Jayam Ravi shook a leg with Hansika, it was pure entertainment.
Brinda Prasad, the chairperson of SIIMA, said that the Rs 20 crore event was an all-around pleaser: “SIIMA 2016 has been magnificent with a galaxy of stars from all the four South Indian Film industries gathered under one roof and the two nights can be summed up as being packaged with the right blend of entertainment and attendance!” Seeing this constellation of stars come together highlighted the truth of that old saying: "There is no business like show business".