Alright! Let me fess up straightaway — it’s that time of the year again when excitement and its first cousin panic are just a phone call away. It is the award season in general and 20th Annual Life OK Screen Awards season in particular, which usually means a toss-up between ecstasy or disappointment for those who are contending for the top awards. Ranging from, “Yes, darling, I will see you soon” to “Sweetheart I absolutely love Screen, but don’t test my
love by expecting me to show up!” besides a few in between sort of comments are flying around fast and furious making life yo-yo from sublime to blimey!
Now depending on which of the above has been uttered, and exactly at what time, you could witness a whole range of reactions — from a triumphant ‘yes’ to a despairing ‘damn’ to various others unmentionable extremes, all within an unimaginably short span! Everybody one meets is either commiserating at the misfortune of having to put oneself through the paces — a quintessential demand if you happen in any way to be associated with a film award event — or just begging to let them in for a dekko at the stars who have shone brightly through their films. Well, what can one say, except that never mind the crushing pressures that often accompany an event of such magnitude, the silver lining is that it challenges all of us, every last person in the team regardless of their designation, to stand up and be counted. Over the years, it has infinitely expanded my understanding of cinema, of the star system and the way the Bollywood universe functions. And strangely, even though people imagine it to be otherwise, it is not very different from award functions outside of the film industry.
It is with some degree of satisfaction that one can look back at the 20 years of the awards instituted by Screen. Over the years, we have honestly strived to create, follow and improvise upon a selection process and system, complete with a selection academy and a jury to choose the best of Hindi and Marathi cinema. Of all types, our nominations for 2013 are a reflection of that. From the blockbusters like Dhoom 3, Chennai Express, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani to the small sparklers — BA Pass, The Lunchbox and an unknown one, Sixteen, have all made their way into the coveted list; all on their own steam. As mentioned above, happiness at one’s efforts being acknowledged, or disappointment at being left out is a natural corollary of any award process. But when it comes to the movies business which is equal parts of magic and manipulation, the reactions are far more severe because true success, even for the privileged few, comes after a hard battle. One completely understands the sentiments and therefore whether it is bouquets or brickbats, no hard feelings from our side. We are just a little giddy and delirious getting our act together for the grand finale so be there to watch the best man (and woman), win!