As the IIFA (International Indian Film Academy Awards) is getting ready to celebrate the South Indian cinema, industry experts down south are describing the move as the effect of "Baahubali", "Puli", "Rudhramadevi" and "I".
After Bollywood, South Indian cinema is the next biggest film industry in India. The industry consists of films mainly from four languages - Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. It produces a large number of commercial entertainers every year and many of them are dubbed in Hindi too. Few of these films, which prove to be blockbuster success, are remade in Bollywood.
Every year, Southern industry churns out a minimum of 500 movies with each of the four languages contributing at least 120 films. The makers in Telugu and Tamil shell out an average of Rs 10 crore on the production of a film, while a movie in Kannada or Malayalam is made with an average budget of Rs 5 crore. A total of Rs 3,500 crore to Rs 4,000 crore goes on a bet on all these flicks.
Each of these four languages has several awards to encourage and honour the talents. These awards are organised by different TV channels, newspapers, magazines and State governments and few groups in respective language films. But until 2010, there was only one award that used to unite stars from the four languages under one roof and honour them. It was the Filmfare Awards South, which was started in 1953.
Of late, some filmmakers have tried to break out of the comfort zone of commercial cinema, which basically follows a formula of five songs and some romance, action, comedy and sentimental scenes. Taking inspiration from Hollywood and Korean thrillers, these filmmakers made some historical and fantasy movies using the latest technology and grabbed eyeballs in the national and international level.
Especially, movies like SS Rajamouli's "Magadheera" (2009) and Rajinikanth-Shankar's "Endhiran" diverted some amount of international audiences' focus that was basically set on Bollywood to South. This development compelled some national media groups to start new awards to honour southern talents. South Scope Awards (2010) and SIIMA (South Indian International Movie Awards 2012) were some initiatives in this direction.
The year 2015 has been a landmark year for Southern cinema as some movies like "Baahubali", "Puli", "Rudhramadevi" and "I" were taken to international level. They have not only become blockbusters successes in foreign markets, but also made filmmakers, critics and audience out there become fans of some stars and filmmakers and also keenly follow them to know updates on their next movies.
The huge success and recognition for "Baahubali", "Puli", "Rudhramadevi" and "I" have grabbed the eyeballs of the organisers of IIFA, who have been honouring talents in Bollywood since 2000. They are now considering on pushing the envelope and venture/penetrate into Southern market.
On Wednesday afternoon, the organizer of IIFA hinted about launching its awards' edition for South. On the official Facebook page of IIFA, its bosses posted a poster, which states, "IIFA celebrating cinema of the south. Yes! You read that right! Stay tuned for more!" The buzz is that they are even considering on roping in "Baahubali" actor Rana Daggubati as its ambassador.
Keep visiting IBTimes India for more updates on IIFA South awards 2015.