KUALA LUMPUR: The South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) is to be held here in September this year, and is expected to generate more than RM25mil in tourist receipts for the country, according to the organiser.
Malaysia Major Events (MME) said Malaysia would host the prestigious event for the first time, scheduled for Sept 12 and 13 at Stadium Negara here.
MME general manager Tony Nagamaiah said over 100 Indian movie stars would 'grace the red carpet' and there would be performances by several top film stars, among them Tamanna, Anirudh, Devi Sri Prasad, Shriya Saran, Shiv Rajkumar, Lakshmi Menon, Nivin Pauly, Regina and Rakul Preet.
Tony told a press conference the event was expected to bring more than 5,000 international visitors, especially from India and neighbouring countries, as it was also being held for the first time in Southeast Asia.
"India and Malaysia have enjoyed an excellent relationship over the decades and, in fact, India is one of our top tourist markets.
“Given that the Indian diaspora is stretched across the Southeast Asia region and further, we are confident that fans from our neighbouring countries will also take this opportunity to experience the South Indian cinema industry," he said Thursday.
Tony said hosting SIIMA was testament to Malaysia being a preferred venue for top-class events and served as an opportunity to increase global exposure on the unique experiences Malaysia had to offer.
For the two past consecutive years, SIIMA was held only in the Middle East.
Tony also said that India was one of Malaysia's top tourist markets, with over 650,000 Indian travellers visiting Malaysia last year and, this year, the target set at 700,000 arrivals.
MME is a division of the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), under the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
Meanwhile, SIIMA chairman Vishnu Induri said the selection of Malaysia as the venue of the event was the right choice.
"Indian films are very popular here. So, this is the right place for us to hold SIIMA, and I am very happy with the support from the Malaysian government, especially as it is Visit Malaysia 2014," he said.
The press conference was also attended by several Indian film stars, among them Surya Sivakumar, Shriya Saran, Rana Daggubati and Vidyut Jamwal.
The Indian film stars and all others present at the press conference observed a minute's silence as a mark of respect for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 tragedy. - Bernama