The Gionee Smartphones 8th Annual Vijay Awards rocked Chennai on Saturday evening...

It was well past midnight on Saturday but everybody at the Nehru Indoor Stadium was still glued to the stage. After all, it isn’t every day that a galaxy of stars, including Kamal Haasan, Shah Rukh Khan, Vijay and Suriya, share the stage for an event.

The occasion, the Gionee Smartphones 8th Annual Vijay Awards, saw the Baadshah of Bollywood coming back for the second consecutive year. Bagging the ‘Entertainer of India Cinema’ Award, he emphatically said, “Just to be on stage with all these legends is a privilege. I would come here just to hang around with these people.”

And that’s precisely what he did, as also the rest of the audience that packed the stadium, just to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars. With the ‘Golden Lady’ being much-in-demand, the evening was a true celebration of cinema and those who rocked the screen last year.

Even as a new breed younger filmmakers, who made offbeat films such asSoodhu Kavvum and Moodar Koodam, was recognised under various categories, the evening also saw the presence of some of the biggest names in Kollywood. Shankar, touted to be the best commercial director in Tamil cinema currently, was presented the Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award on the occasion. The director said, “This is very special because I’m a big fan of Sivaji. In fact, my mother went to watch a Sivaji film just before I was born and named me ‘Shankar’, after the actor’s character in that movie. I wanted to cast him in Kaadhalan, but it didn’t happen at that time. And today, working with his son (Ramkumar) in Ai…his very voice reminds me of the legendary actor.”

Bala, who bagged the best director award for his work in Paradesi, said that this was as big as an Oscar. “That’s because I’ve received it from Akila amma (his mentor Balu Mahendra’s wife),” he said.

It was not just serious business all the way…the evening saw its lighter moments as well. With music composer Santhosh Narayanan refusing to accept a kiss from a couple of leading ladies and running off the stage, and Priya Anand stating that she’d like Simbu and Hansika to be a couple, the giggles from the audience never failed to subside.

As with most awards functions, it was glamour and glitz all the way here too. If actress Lakshmi Rai, being brought to the stage on a rickshaw before she shook a leg to some popular numbers, had the crowd on their feet, actress Hansika got everybody clapping and cheering as she grooved to a few foot-tapping songs. The other energetic performances were accompanied by loud whistles and claps too. TV personalities Gopinath and newly-married DD, hosts of the show, kept it alive with their witty repartees and questions to the celebrities present.

The almost seven-hour-long show played out much like any hit movie, with elements of suspense, emotion, glamour and triumph. A true blockbuster!

Best Actor – Kamal Haasan (Vishwaroopam)

Best Actor (Female) – Nayanthara (Raja Rani)

Best Director – Bala (Paradesi)

Best Film – Thanga Meenkal

Best Film (Special Jury Award) – Soodhu Kavvum

Best Music Director – A. R. Rahman (Kadal)

Keywords: Vijay awards