Cast and crew of Ollie, a movie made by the school
Cast and crew of Ollie, a movie made by the school Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: GEMS Our Own Indian School, Dubai, marked the culmination of its 30th year celebrations in a glittering evening ceremony on Friday, with the premiere of the school’s first musical movie production ‘Ollie’, which was shot entirely in its auditorium.

“The joyous occasion witnessed the presence of several distinguished dignitaries and luminaries from the field of education,” the school said.

Student leaders from the alumni arrived in large numbers in a show of solidarity and respect for their beloved alma mater. Teachers, ex-teachers, students, and parents formed a part of the celebratory gathering.

Alumni and former teachers and staff of the school during the celebration
Alumni and former teachers and staff of the school during the celebration Image Credit: Supplied

Head boys and girls

The head boys and head girls of the past 30 years were tracked and they were an integral part of a year-long celebration that was called #30YearsOfShapingMinds!

The senior-most staff of the school were felicitated during the ceremony for their services to the school for 25 years and more. Also, memorabilia and plaques commemorating the event were presented to the recipients.

In her welcome address, Lalitha Suresh, commenting on her role as school principal for the past 10 years, said: “We have faced innumerable challenges. However, we have faced them with grit and determination and have had many success stories to tell. I couldn’t have asked for a better team and I thank God for creating this synergy in the school.”

She declared the new vision statement of the school, ‘Nurturing dynamic learners in an inclusive environment’, which was framed in collaboration with students, parents, and teachers.

Michael Guzder, vice-president of GEMS Education, in his address said: “I am extremely proud of the 30 glorious years of education that OIS has been imparting to the Asian community in the UAE. While upholding extremely high standards of education, I must admit that it is a highly modest school with a ‘no-fuss’ attitude.”

The evening saw a performance by the dance troupe. A tribute by the alumni was another highlight of the event. They came together from different parts of the world to present a number in a video-song, ‘Jagona Sitare’, composed and rendered by Nithin Kootungal, a former pupil.

School movie

The highlight of the evening was the premiere of the movie ‘Ollie’, which was initially planned to be a musical to be presented on the stage, as has been the customary practice of the school every year.

However, each time the production of the annual musical started, it was met with obstacles, as the COVID-19 pandemic brought with it strict rules and regulations, the school said.

“During the times of adversity, the innovative minds of the production team came up with the idea of a movie production and completed it following all the COVID-19 protocols.”

The school said the movie was a complete in-house creation with limited resources, starting from the school auditorium used as the studio for all the scenes, to all the movie-making paraphernalia.

“The musical could not have been complete without the scintillation of orchestral sound, story, and artistic backdrops made memorable by the incredibly talented Joe Peter, the director, and Sampriti Chawak, the art director,” the school stated.

The culmination of the ceremony saw the appearance of the entire cast and crew of Ollie on stage amidst the thunderous applause of the audience.

Reshmi Menon, vice principal, presented the vote of thanks.