Madhuri Dixit launches Indian Academy Awards in California

Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit joined entertainment executives at a news conference to announce details of the first-ever Indian Academy Awards in July this year. Known for its entrepreneurship and technological innovation, Silicon Valley may soon find itself in the global spotlight courtesy of another industry — entertainment. India-based Cineyug and Brainstorm Entertainment have joined forces to bring to the audiences the first Indian Academy Awards.

With an aim to take Indian film industry closer to its global dream, at a press conference held Jan. 27 at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, Calif., the organizers announced the unique selling proposition of these awards along with unveiling the flashy ‘Golden Knight’ trophy.

“Where else to do it than here in the Silicon Valley where Indians have put India on the global map? They have created so many disruptive things that have changed the way things work in the world and the way society and everything else is percieved,” said Dixi. “I’m so glad that we’re doing it here.”

Promising to bring “the best of Hollywood, Bollywood and Tollywood together to create history in the entertainment world,” the award ceremony is to be organized by Los Angeles-based Brainstorm Media.

“We wanted to create a platform for Indian cinema and world cinema,” said Vandana Krishna, co-founder of Brainstorm Entertainment. “The whole idea came when we were looking at cinema and how it was going global; we figured out that the Indian film industry is going global today. Therefore, the awards are a celebration, a dedication to this democratic academy. These awards are for the people, by the people and of the people.”

Announcing an open voting system, Krishna stressed that the voting process would be a “transparent, honest and an absolutely credible” one. “We will be doing a global voting to engage viewers across the world who are cinema lovers to vote and choose their favorite stars,” she said.

Global audiences will be a part of the jury, she said, inviting the fans to register and participate on, where very soon they will be able to vote for their favorite films and stars in over 17 categories. A credible certifying agency will be auditing the entire process.

The awards, which will be hosted by none other than Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, will be a two-day extravaganza of live performances featuring top stars from Bollywood, South Indian cinema and Hollywood, which will be choreographed by contemporary dance guru Shiamak Davar along with music and fashion shows.

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