As May draws to a close, Colombo is gearing up for the most glamorous event set to take place in Sri Lanka this year, the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) brought to you by Sri Lanka Tourism.
Things are abuzz behind the scenes for the glamorous three day extravaganza whose itinerary includes a star-studded awards ceremony and fashion show. The Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium and the BMICH premises and the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) will be the main venues respectively.
Head of Logistics IIFA Amesh Panawala has been entrusted with the challenging task of ensuring that everything goes well behind the scenes in terms of infrastructure, security and city beautification. "Infrastructure is our main priority in terms of the Awards and there are two categories, indoor and outdoor infrastructure. The greatest challenge was in terms of converting the stadium into an entertainment venue", he said elaborating on the transformation taking place in and around the sports complex.
According to Mr. Panawala, three major operations are taking place at the venue, which are set to be completed by next week. "Increasing the cooling capacity was a huge concern as we had to reduce the air conditioning from the previous 24 degrees to 18 after installing extra chillers". The venue is being revamped and upgraded in term of facilities with brand new sound-absorbing curtains, carpets, re-tiled bathrooms and freshly painted walls. Financial commitment for the project is being channeled through the government.
Guests walking in can anticipate state-of-the-art lights and sound system at the stadium with LED power cams and beautifully lit pre-cocktail areas which are poised to match the glam of the Indian superstars gracing the occasion. This Logistics team is working hard to achieve this, paying attention to the minutest details ranging from green room requirements to health care for the stars.
Other activities are in progress to beautify the city of the Colombo.
Speaking to Shafraz Farook, who is heading city beautification, said that the city of Colombo will be lit up and glamour for the IIFA weekend with lights and pennants along the roads and roundabouts.
Sponsors will cover several of the city roundabout and embedding their own style into it, he explained. Namely, the Lipton Circus in Town Hall will be decorated by Odel Unlimited, Hotel Galadari will cover the roundabout there, and Etisalat will take over the Bridgets Circus near Horton Place.
Senior DIG Illangakoon is heading the security team under the direction and guidance of IGP Mahinda Balasuriya. Thirty nine DIGs have been assigned to respective divisions of the comprehensive security plan that will come into action during the high profile event. Security will be ensured in terms of the two main venues in various capacities ranging from route security, ensuring safety of the celebrities and their places of accommodation at some of Colombo's finest hotels.
-The IIFA 2010 is brought to you by Sri Lanka Tourism