An awards evening for South Indian cinema, coming up soon in Dubai, recognises the accomplishments of this booming industry.
Stars of southern India
Bollywood, the booming Hindi-language cinema industry based in Mumbai, has danced its way onto the whole world's movie screens. But beyond the borders of India and the Indian diaspora, the country's growing output of cinema in other languages is not so well known.
That's one reason Dubai has been chosen for the first South Indian International Movie Awards, a ceremony set for June 22.
As The National reports today, filmmaking in the Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam languages of southern India, taken together, is by some measures more significant than the Hindi industry.
To be sure, films are also made in other Indian languages, but it is the film industries of these four that have come together to organise this awards event. Like the International Indian Film Academy Awards, this new ceremony will be held in a different country each year; the UAE's large south Indian population has brought the initial event to Dubai.
Prizes are not a rarity in the cinema business, in any language, but such shows serve a useful purpose beyond filling the pages of fan magazines: recognition, bringing as it does extra ticket sales, is always a spur to creativity and artistry.