Tuesday evening set the stage for one of the biggest film awards night in the country as the nominations party for Kamala Pasand 20th Annual Life OK Screen Awards unfolded.
The evening began around 8pm at JW Marriott Hotel, Juhu, Mumbai. Among the first to arrive was actor Neeraj Kabi, who in contrast to his on-screen character of a monk in Ship of Theseus, had suited up for the evening.
He was followed by Irrfan and other members of The Lunchbox cast, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Rajkummar Rao, who has had a fabulous year with Shahid and Kai Po Che!, shared a table with the directors of the films, Hansal Mehta and Abhishek Kapoor respectively. His co-actor in Kai Po Che!, Amit Sadh, also joined them. Richa Chadda attended the function with her Fukrey director Mrighdeep Singh Lamba, while filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and actor Divya Dutta represented the Bhaag Milkha Bhaag camp.
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Playing emcee for the evening, television actor Karanvir Bora first invited Screen editor Priyanka Sinha-Jha and Ajit Thakur, General Manager of Life OK, on stage. “When we completed two years in December, we decided to celebrate by making our first association with Bollywood; partnering with Screen awards has been that step,” said Thakur.
The duo then introduced the Hindi film jury, comprising Homi Adajania, Moushumi Chatterjee, John Matthew Matthan, Sriram Raghavan, Atul Agnihotri, Sonali Kulkarni, Umesh Shukla, Prosenjit and Rahul Dholakia, and the chairperson, Govind Nihalani. Prominent film personality Kiran Shantaram represented the Marathi film jury, which includes actor Shreyas Talpade and Sukanya Kulkarni.
Talking about the awards night, scheduled for January 14, Mohammed Morani of Cineyug — they have been executing the Big Night year after year — said that noted set and production designer Omung Kumar has chosen a fitting theme for the 20th year celebrations. “The set’s all gold and art deco. Shah Rukh Khan will be the host and this season’s golden girl Deepika Padukone will be seen in four avatars,” he said, adding that for the first time, a live action performance will be part of an awards night.
The event wasn’t all about those who made a cut in 2013; the cast of Nila Madhab Panda’s upcoming film, Babloo Happy Hai joined singer Hard Kaur as she performed the film’s title song. Later, the stars mingled with one another. Chadda was seen chatting with Kunal Khemu, who was attending on behalf of the Go Goa Gone team. Veterans Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar also dropped by to lend support to the event.