South Indian International Movie Awards to be held in Doha

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Doha: The eighth South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) to be held in Qatar next month is expected to not only delight fans of Indian cinema but also promote understanding of Indian culture reflected through its vibrant film industry.

In another first in Qatar, the annual SIIMA will be held on August 15 and 16 at Lusail Indoor Arena. It will witness some of the most prominent celebrities in the South Indian film industry come to Doha to attend the ceremony which rewards artistic and technical achievements in film.

Speaking to The Peninsula, Naveed Abdulla, CEO of ONE FM Qatar, said they had been looking forward to bringing SIIMA to Qatar and this was the perfect time to host it here with the Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture. “We wanted to give delight to all Indians living in Qatar with this award function where we have over 200 people from the movie fraternity coming to Qatar and out of them around 70 to 80 are top A-list celebrities. This would also help non-Indians in Qatar to understand the Indian culture and connect both cultures during this Year of Culture,” said Abdulla.

Thousands of people are expected to attend this first-of-its-kind event, some of whom are flying to Doha including between 450 to 500 production crew, technicians and dance troupe as well as a huge number of international media fans, he said, adding they have been working with Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and other partners in India to promote the event through various platforms.

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“We are expecting anything between 8,000 to 10,000 people for the show because each of these celebrities do have their own major fan base. Qatar has a huge South Indian population also who understands the language and a lot of South Indian movies are being screened in theatres in Qatar,” he said.

The awards ceremony itself will be a two-day function, but prior to that there will also be a business award. The functions, Abdulla said, will be telecast in four different languages on Indian television.

“It will be a good four and a half to five hours show per day and there will be a lot of meet and greet with celebrities for fans and very interactive sessions,” he added. Apart from the celebrities, production crew and performers; Indian and international media as well as many Indian cinema fans are expected to fly to Doha to watch the awards ceremony.

“We are expecting a good chunk of people to travel to Qatar to watch this movie awards as well as experience Arab hospitality, the hotels, and other entertainment which are curated along with this festival,” he said. Tickets to the awards ceremony will be in different categories and will be on sale soon. The Eighth SIIMA is one of the much anticipated events being organised in partnership with QNTC’s Summer in Qatar programme which runs until August 16.Courtesy:The Peninsula