South Indian movie stars light up awards night
Fans delighted to see favourite stars up close at South Indian International Movie Awards event
It was a night to remember as the biggest stars from the South Indian film industry celebrated a year of music and movies.
The Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam industries took centre stage. The event, which was previously held in Dubai, Sharjah and Kuala Lumpur, is in Singapore for its fourth edition.
On the first night of the two-day South Indian International Movie (SIIMA) Awards yesterday, the Telugu and Kannada stars were immediately recognised as they stepped on the red carpet.
About 100 fans, who started lining the red carpet from 5.30pm at the lobby of the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre, pierced the air with their screams as the stars posed for pictures while making their way to the venue.
Among those who received the loudest cheers were Sudheer Babu, Allu Arjun, Samantha Prabhu, Shruti Haasan, Rakul Preet Singh, Vikram, Nayantara, Sivakarthikeyan and Huma Qureshi.
This is the first time the awards ceremony is being held here since its launch in 2012. Previously, it was held twice in Dubai, as well as in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Hosted by actress Lakshmi Manshu and comedian Ali Basha, who is better know as Ali, laughs were aplenty as the hosts bantered.
Three scintillating dance performances were put up by actresses Pranitha Subhash, Rachita Ram and Sayyeshaa Saigal.
The last was a four-song tribute to veteran actor Chiranjeevi, as Sayyeshaa danced through different eras of his career. He received the Mega Star award at last night's show for having starred in 150 movies.
The 3,000-strong crowd, who paid between $45 and $325, erupted as the 60-year-old took to the stage to accept his award.
The actor, whose real name is Konidela Siva Sankara Vara Prasad, said: "I am very proud and honoured to receive this award in Singapore, a country I like a lot.
"I am so happy to see the support I have received from Telugu fans in Singapore. Even though the fans here are not fans from home, they still support me and I'm so grateful for that."
He added: "I remember in the 1970s, I always wanted to star in films and my career truly started from scratch. I had no money. I earned this status through sheer hard work."
Singer Usha Utup then took the stage with a performance that got everyone on their feet.
Rana Daggubati of Baahubali: The Beginning fame, who was nominated for Best Actor in a Negative Role, took home the award. The movie was also a big winner of the night.
Indian national Rajesh Billakanti, 28, who was at the show, said: "It feels like a dream. There is no way to attend something like that in India because it will just be too crowded. This is the only time we get to see our favourite stars up close and this is a night to remember for me."
His wife, Pavani Sudi, 27, added: "I'm a big fan of Chiranjeevi, Allu Arjun, Rana and Samantha... It's been spectacular."
The festivities continue tonight with the Malayalam and Tamil movies.
The awards show is promoted by Tamil Murasu and tabla!, two publications of Singapore Press Holdings, along with events company De Ldeaz. The event is supported by State Bank of India and HDFC Home Loans.
GLAMOUR: Actress Pranitha Subhash
SOME OF LAST NIGHT'S WINNERS
Best playback singer, Telugu: Satya Yamini (MamatalaTalli in Baahubali: The Beginning)
Best playback singer female, Kannada: Inchara Rao (Kareyole in Rangi Taranga)
Best Debutant Director, Telugu: Anil Ravipudi (Pataas)Best Debutant Female, Kannada: Manvitha Harish (#Kendasampige)
Best Debutant Male, Telugu: Akhil Akkineni (Akhil)
The South Sensation of the Year: Sudheer Babu
The Lifetime Achievement Award: S. Janaki
Best Actor in the Negative Role, Telugu: Rana Daggubati (Baahubali: The Beginning)
Best Actor in the Negative Role, Kannada: Sai Kumar (Rangi Taranga)
Best Actor, Telugu: Mahesh Babu (Srimanthudu)
Best Film, Telugu: Baahubali: The Beginning