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Bollywood Star Madhuri Dixit Announces Silicon Valley Will Host First Indian Academy Awards

Known for its entrepreneurship and technological innovation, Silicon Valley may soon find itself in the global spotlight courtesy of another industry — entertainment.

Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit joined entertainment executives at a news conference Friday to announce details of the first-ever Indian Academy Awards in July.

"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.

The idea was launched at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, India last month and hopes to do more than just entertain.

A stated objective by the IAA is to open doors for trade and investment as well as collaboration for creative pursuits.

"Let's create an award which is different. Let's create a platform where we bring in not only Bollywood, but one cinema," said Vandana Krishna, the national head and co-founder of Brainstorm Media. "I think there was a need. There was a gap for an award ceremony that could bring cinemas together."

Krishna emphasized that the academy will be open, inviting the public to register and participate at www.indianacademyaward.com.

The announcement for an open voting system stands in contrast to Hollywood's Academy Awards, which had previously drawn criticism for the lack of recognition to actors of color by a closed group of mostly white academy members.

"The Indian film industry is going global today. Therefore, the Indian Academy Awards is a celebration, is a dedication to this democratic academy," Krishna said, "because our aim primarily is to launch a kind of award which is transparent, which is honest, and absolutely credible."

The IAA expects to host an estimated 40,000 people this July as part of a multi-day event.

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