The South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) 2017 With Vivo

The South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) 2017 With Vivo

Day 1

I recently received an invitation to attend the SIIMA Extravaganza in Abu Dhabi from #VivoIndia. Being the title sponsor, Vivo helped me get a closer look at an event that can only be described as a dreamy fantasy for the average cinema-struck Indian. South Indian Cinema has steadily propelled itself onto the world stage walking close in the footsteps of the Hindi film industry that has already claimed its own niche in the global entertainment landscape. And the magnitude of #VIVOSIIMA2017 had me awestruck – there was everything that South Indian cinema stands for – glitz & glamour, zesty passion, brazen flamboyance and spicy accents!

The connection of a South Indian with cinema is an elaborate one. In addition to our distinctive cultures and tastes, our media consumption is somewhat unique when compared with the rest of the country; we have an irreplaceable soft corner for films in our hearts. And as the world begins to recognize the beauty of South Indian Cinema, our aspirations and expectations continue to rise. The South Indian International Movie Awards is all about recognizing these hopes, about the competition for being the best and the need to give the world a taste of South Indian cinema which combines the Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada industries.

With 5 years of uninhibited success in Dubai, Sharjah, Malaysia and Singapore, SIIMA 2017 chose Abu Dhabi for its 6th year. The event was spread across two days of dissolute entertainment, fun and glamour starting from June 30th and ending on July 1st. In all its excitement and glamour, the event had film lovers from all over the world watching with great anticipation as competition looked fierce and fan-love was almost equally distributed. Celebrities from four industries joined hands to create magic and bring splendour to VIVO SIIMA 2017, with scintillating performances and mesmerizing acts!

 

My arrival in Abu Dhabi with the Vivo team

I had been flown into the UAE by the Vivo team to be a part of SIIMA 2017, and obviously, enable you to get real-time updates straight from the show {which you definitely did if you follow me on Facebook, and Twitter}.

Abu Dhabi looked cheerfully bright as if it had dressed itself up in its best in anticipation of the ensemble of celebs and fans that flew in for the event. The beautifully sunny days to the gorgeous blue skies and the twinkle of metal in the very tall buildings were all worth capturing on my Vivo V5s handset as wonderful memories of my amazing experience at SIIMA 2017.

 

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My room was reserved at the Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi which was also happened to be the luxury property where all the popular stars and performing artists were staying. This meant that there was no dearth of enthusiasm and energy as fans eagerly awaited a glimpse of their favourite celebrity. And since events like these are hardly held every day, they seemed in no mood to let the stars pass by without requesting for autographs, or trying to take selfies with them. 🙂

I spent most of the afternoon on the day I arrived exploring the area around. The air was filled with the vivacity of the evenings to come which would bring along a host of experiences in the form of celeb performances. The first evening would be dedicated to honouring Kannada and Telugu Cinema, with the entertaining pair of Allu Sirish and Lakshmi Manchu hosting the event alongside Rana Daggubati, and would include performances from renowned artists like Shriya Saran, Pooja Hegde, Regina Cassandra, and Shubra Aiyappa. The second evening would be the grand finale of the event which would honour Malayalam and Tamil cinema.

 

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#DusitThaniAD

 

My first evening in the beautiful city of Abu Dhabi began as I stepped into a limousine accompanied by the Vivo Team heading towards the event. As we passed signs and traffic cones, police motorcycles and even a SWAT vehicle, we whizzed past star-struck bystanders who couldn’t tell if we were famous or not! For this day out of this year, Tollywood, Kollywood, and everything that is South Indian cinema, became the focal point of an entire city and in some ways, an entire culture. And so began my #VIVOSIIMA journey on the red carpet where the stars in the sky above failed to match the shine of those that gracefully walked the red carpet that evening.

I was escorted to my seat inside where I could wait for the ceremony to begin. I guess Shriya Saran and I have the same assistant since we arrived at the exact same time. With just two people separating me from her I couldn’t help but glance unabashedly to get a glimpse of her gorgeousness and to absorb her magnificent aura.

The lights dimmed insinuating the beginning of the awards night. The show’s hosts were loaded with energy and vibrancy starting the evening on an exciting note. I was glad that it did not take a lot of effort to follow along, with the hosts using Regional Indian languages to address guests throwing in some English every now and then. The audience was inevitably charmed by their wit and humour. While hilarious compering had us enticed, the ceremony which lasted a little over three hours was filled with beautifully choreographed song and dance performances which honoured the Indian culture. I’ve got to hold my tongue or I may end up spilling too many details than what I am at liberty to share for now; but the one thing that I can tell you all is that the event was everything I had anticipated and more!

 

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Watching the ceremony live in all its grandeur was impressive indeed and it washed away so many of the aesthetic and thematic concerns that usually keep me complaining through the three-hour run time. In my first experience of SIIMA Live, I was legitimately charmed.

Perhaps it’s the headiness of social media praise that I have been constantly receiving from friends and acquaintances who would give anything to switch places with me to attend such an exclusive event or I could blame it all on the swooning of my heart as I caught glimpses of famous celebs like Rana Daggubati and Ranganathan Madhavan. I accept that I’m easily swayed by such things, but above everything else, I truly enjoyed witnessing the overwhelming extent of love that people have for cinema – which in all its simplicity is but the craft of storytelling.

 

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For an evening where charisma didn’t come in small servings, I draped this elegant #SochSaree which is a part of their Amaya collection to the red carpet of the SIIMA night. I chose this elegant Indian ensemble because I wanted to make no concessions to gorgeousness and comfort, a combination that can be hard to find in one garment but then saris have somehow been very adept at maintaining this balance.

 

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Tanya Dhar with Malini Agarwal, a.k.a. MissMalini

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Tanya Dhar with Radhika Chetan

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Tanya Dhar with Rakul Preet Singh

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Tanya Dhar with Pooja Hegde

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Tanya Dhar with Lavanya Tripathi

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Tanya Dhar with Allu Sirish

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Tanya Dhar with Sudheer Babu

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Tanya Dhar with Shubra Aiyappa

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Tanya Dhar with Armaan Malik

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Tanya Dhar with Rana Daggubati

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Shriya Saran wearing Manish Malhotra

 

With a lovely evening behind me, I eagerly awaited day 2 of the event. I was surprised to see that there was not the slightest drop in energy or enthusiasm on the second evening. On the contrary, I felt that the buzz was even bigger and the glitz & glamour competed with that from the day before. But I don’t intend to share too many details here; you’ve got to stay tuned for part two of my SIIMA experience to go live!

 

 

Special thanks go to the Vivo team for handling the process so efficiently and for giving me the opportunity to experience SIIMA 2017!

 

Partners:

VIVO: Vivo India V5s

Hospitality: Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi

Airlines: Etihad Airways

Wardrobe: Soch Sarees

Beauty: Polished – Boutique Nail Studio by Neela Bopaiah

Grooming: Skin & Hair by Renu Chettri

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

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