A large number of artistes and other film personalities from the Malayalam film industry will descend on Doha on May 3 for a six-hour stage show and the inaugural Pearl Awards, which will be held at the newly-constructed West End Park near Industrial Area.
The organisers of the event, which is being hosted jointly by the Kerala Film Producers Association (KFPA) and Matrix Media, say the show and the ceremony will have in attendance at least 200 film personalities, writers, lyricists and others associated with the southern Indian state’s film industry.
They also said almost all frontline artistes and directors from the Malayalam film industry – popularly known as Mollywood – would be in Doha for the event.
At a meeting yesterday, Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (Amma) president and actor K Innocent addressed journalists through a video-conference and confirmed the participation of a large number of artistes in the Doha event. According to him, it would be the biggest such event to be held in the Gulf.
Amma general secretary Edavela Babu and producers’ association representative Allwyn Antony also spoke to the media.
Addressing a meeting at Crowne Plaza Hotel, KFPA chief Milan Jaleel said they had been contemplating an event of this magnitude for film lovers in the Gulf for over six months, adding that the Doha show would coincide with the centenary celebrations of cinema in India.
Innocent said he was supposed to attend the briefing in Doha. However, owing to the preparations for Amma shows in Sharjah and Kochi on April 3 and 7, he was forced to skip the Qatar meeting.
At the meeting, the organisers said the participating artistes would arrive in Doha for their training sessions at least three days before the mega stage show. Efforts were also on to get some artistes from Kerala who were active in Bollywood.
Jaleel said those expected to attend the show included Mohanlal, Mammootty, Madhu, Dileep, Prithviraj, Indrajith, Jayaram, Prathap Pothen, Sreenivasan, Sai Kumar, Manoj K Jayan, Lal, Biju Menon, Lalu Alex, Mukesh, Jagadeesh, Siddique, Jayasoorya, Mamookoya, Jayasoorya, Meera Jasmine, Kavya Madhavan, Ambika, Seema, Sheela, KPAC Lalitha, directors Priyadarshan, Siddique, Joshie, Siby Malayil, Kamal, Sathyan Anthikad and Jayabharathi, among others.
Oscar winner and sound designer Rasool Pookutty is also among those who will take part in the event.
Lyricists and Jnanpeeth award winners MT Vasudevan Nair and ONV Kurup and writer-producer Sree Kumaran Thampi, singer S P Balasubramaniam and composers Ilayaraja and Dakshinamoorthy would also be present, said the organisers.
At the Pearl Awards, which the organisers said would become an annual event, about 30 awards would be given away. Apart from the usual ones, there would also be special awards for best production house, distribution house and film unit, said Jaleel. Sreekumaran Thampy would be the awards jury chairman and TK Rajeev Kumar the director of the stage show.
Besides Jaleel, KFPA general secretary Sasi Ayyanchira, music composer George Peter, Doha businessman Mana al-Mana, Matrix managing director Anantharaj, general manager Anish Raj, director (media) Manu Chandrasekhar, commercial operations manager Vinod V Nair and operations manager Lekha Ramachandran were also present.
Peter, who came to the limelight as a judge on a television reality music show a few years ago, is currently the creative division head of the proposed Matrix Television Channel, which would be based in Qatar, but to be aired from India.
Speaking at the meeting, al-Mana said his family had historic business relations with Kerala – dating back several decades – and was familiar with the Malayalis’ customs, traditions and love of films.
He said the May 3 show would be the first ever event to be held at the West End Park, in the vicinity of the Karwa compound in Industrial Area. The entrepreneur added that the venue could easily accommodate close to 14,000 spectators and over 4,000 vehicles.
Malayalam film ‘may be shot in Doha this year’
Parts of Malayalam feature film Love Story would be shot in Doha later this year if things went according to plan, Kerala Film Producers Association (KFPA) president Milan Jaleel said yesterday.
Jaleel said his company was seeking the assistance of local film officials to shoot a film featuring upcoming talents, including Maqbool Salman, nephew of actor Mammootty, in Qatar. “However, it is too early to say when they would be able to shoot the film here,” said Jaleel, adding that the shooting had already begun in India.
The producer said a lot of efforts were being made at various levels, including the creation of Doha Film Institute, to turn Qatar into a major hub for the film industry.
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