Since 2006, the Vijay Awards are presented annually by the Tamil television channel STAR Vijay, honoring the excellence in Tamil cinema. The prestigious awards are decided by a jury of renowned personalities from the industry, while winners of a separate category - ‘Favorite Awards’ are chosen by public voting. The annual ceremony is heartily celebrated at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Chennai and is showed on STAR Vijay only. Giant companies like Reliance Mobile, Univercell, and Close Up are its main sponsors.
Yugi Sethu, an eminent film analyst and the charismatic actress Khushboo hosted the much celebrated 3rd Vijay Awards on May 3, 2008, sponsored exclusively by Reliance Mobile. About a month before the award ceremony a mobile van Rasigan Express traveled to key cities in Tamilnadu for over a period of two weeks to nominate their favorite actor, actress, directors and films out of 107 films released in 2007. The Rasigan Express covered cities like Coimbatore, Chennai, Erode, Salem, Trichy, Madurai and Tanjore. After the filing of nominations by the viewers via Rasigan Express, the five most popular names in each of the four categories were put up for viewers to vote through the various mediums like SMS, IVR, and online platform.
Other than the four ‘Favorite Awards’; there were 22 BEST Awards and 4 SPECIAL awards chosen by the jury panel comprising of renowned actor & film analyst Lizzy Priyadarshan, film critic Madan, and actor Bhagyaraj. The four individual awards were:
- Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award for Excellence in Cinema,
-Best Entertainer (chosen by the film industry), -Award for Contribution to Cinema, and
-Icon of the Year (selected by media agencies and clients).
The impressive awards ceremony took place in Chennai amidst much fanfare attended by the well-known celebrities of the industry. Reliance Mobile Vijay Awards had also aired the fascinating journey of the Rasigan Express, featuring the judges’ panel discussion on the best movies of 2007 and their likely nominations in each category for their individual awards. The channel broadcasted the show in the last week of March Favorite Film Award 2008. On the 19th March, the eminent chief guests like Mr. Ramanarayanan, famous President of the Tamil Film Producers’ Council; Mr. Parithi Illamvazhuthi, the honorable Information Minister of Tamil Nadu; Mr. Sarath Kumar, respected President of the Tamil Actors Union; Mr. S. A Chandrasekhar, esteemed President of the Tamil Film Directors’ Association; and Mr.
Fefsi Vijayan, renowned President of the Film Employee’s Federation of South India, flagged-off the Rasigan Express.
The annual 2008, Vijay Awards celebration, thus, honored the following stars for their remarkable contribution in the Kollywood. Dr. Kamal Hassan bagged three awards altogether for his masterpiece ‘Dasavatharam’ as the Favorite Hero, Best Villain, and Best Story Screenplay Writer. The speculative movie depicted Hasan’s adept endeavor of 185 minutes- rimmed with brilliant features.
Nayantara won the Favorite Heroine Award for her mind-blowing performance as Keerthi in ‘Yaaradi Nee Mohini, an adoring love story of Vasu and Keerthi amid several ups and downs in their lives. Just like Vaaranam Aaiyram- a 2008 Tamil romantic drama, bagged the award for Favorite Film of the Year, Surya received the Best Actor Award for playing a dual lead role; Simran won the Best Supporting Female Actress Award, and Gautham Vasudev Menon grabbed the Best Director Award for the same film. Similarly, Hariharan received the Best Playback Singer Award for his direction of the song- ‘Nenjukkul’ in Vaaranam Aaiyram. Harris Jayaram got himself his third Best Music Director Award.
While Sneha got the Best Female Actress Award for her role as Visalatchi in Privom Santhipom- depicting a difference between joint and the nuclear family, Parvathy bagged the Best New Comer Award for her character Mariyammal in the movie adaptation of Tamilselvan’s ‘Vejilodu Poi’ - Poo. Danish grabbed the Best Find of the Year Award. Grand Maestro A.R. Rahman received the Most Prestigious Chevalier - Sivaji Ganesan Award. While Subramaniapuram Team won the Best Crew Award, Satyam Cinema grabbed the award for Best Contribution to Tamil Cinema. Mr. Sriram- Head, Vijay TV showed immense gratitude and congratulated the much illustrious award function, organizers, jury members, winners, and guests for the tremendous success of the event.