The van, that is here to collect votes from people to select nominees under five categories for their annual film awards show – UniverCell Vijay Awards, is in the city for two days.The van is remodelled to accommodate the cut-outs of cine stars on either side. A ladder positioned at the back of the van helps people board it to reach the ballot box. The ballot sheet contains the names of the 118 Tamil movies released in 2008. Five empty boxes are given against five categories, namely, favourite male actor, female actor, director, film and song.
The public should write one name against each category and drop it in the ballot box. It is a secret vote and the identity of the person is not revealed.The awards have been receiving tremendous response in the last three years, according to R. Balachandran, Vice-President, Strategic Planning and Marketing, Vijay TV.Out of the 30-odd categories, five categories are decided by popular votes while the others are selected by a jury comprising Yugi Sethu, Pratap Pothan, Madan and Lizzy Priyadarshan.
The journey of the van that began on April 14 will continue for three weeks and pass through 14 districts.Approximately 2,000 to 4,000 votes are collected every day. Vijay TV expects at least five lakh votes that will help them come out with nominations for the five categories.The nominees will be announced on May 17 and further voting will be requested online, through SMS or media for deciding the finalists.The award function is scheduled to be held on May 31.
“Our Unique Selling Proposition is that we are the only broadcaster to host a cine award. When we saw the response in the first year, not only in terms of the votes but also the turnout to the award function, it made us decide to do it on a regular basis. This is our third year. People are happy with our credibility because we reach out to the people, go to their area and collect votes,” says Mr. Balachandran.