Watch the starry,glamorous and always talked-about Star Screen Awards on Star Plus tonight,at 8 pm. The jury dissects its decisions
Judging films made by friends is always a difficult task because in a few hours of deliberation one has to decide who the winner is and who is not. As a chairperson,and with seven members on the panel with individual mindsets,votes were taken only in case of a deadlock. We had healthy discussions,sans any flaring of tempers. I have to say that Im not one hundred per cent happy with the decisions,similarly someone else may feel the same. But it was a collective jury and we made it a point to understand the other persons point of view. I tried to see that no aspect was left out as far as possible and we came to a consensus to give a collective judgement. I assure you that we did our job passionately and fairly.
I expected the Screen award function to have class and dignity but sadly this time it was lacking. Farah Khan talking about RK Laxman whose work is clean,full of dignity and class,is ironic.
This time we were a panel of seven members and it is the majority that wins. Though I felt Ghajini and Jodhaa Akbar should have got more awards,Im happy for all the winners as their hard work has paid off. I felt proud of Akshay Kumar when he said that Aamir Khan deserves the trophy more than him for his work in Ghajini. God bless Akshay with many more awards in future. Hrithik Roshan truly deserved the award as it was a challenge for him to play Akbar. He was a class apart as the young Akbar with his diction,body language and everything.
Clearly 2008 was the year of the small big film. Films like A Wednesday,Rock On!!,Oye Lucky Lucky Oye,Dasvidanya and many others brought to the fore great talent and opened up space for diverse makers and actors willing to push boundaries. More than big numbers and budgets,the script was the clear winner and that according to me that was the defining factor of 2008.
I missed Rajkumar Hiranis valuable inputs at the meeting as he was away shooting. There were two meetings; one for deciding on the nominations and another to decide the winners. With such a fierce competition this year,picking up winners for the music,lyrics,film and director category was a tough task. We worked on a majority basis and tried to bring about consensus because of the tough competition.
The spectrum of films ranged from A Wednesday to Ghajini. There were a lot of new talents giving us films like Mumbai Meri Jaan,Jaane Tu ¿ Ya Jaane Na,Rock On!! and A Wednesday,thus giving us a lot of nice surprises. Abbas Tyrewala transformed from a dialogue writer to a brilliant film director. Accolades to Neeraj Pandey for bringing back Naseeruddin Shah and Abhishek Kapoor for making an excellent film like Rock On!! after Aryan were well-deserved. Ghajini was totally over-the-top yet very entertaining and Singh Is Kinng showed the power of Akshay Kumar. All this made the process of judging a little harder as many good films and actors were pitted against each other.
Since there are only four awards given for Marathi films,it was not a very difficult task and we decided to award as many films as possible. We are happy with our decisions,but I would like to suggest that more categories should be introduced for Marathi films as technically they are progressing brilliantly. What I like about the Screen awards is that the secrecy of the winner is maintained till the end.
We decided to award different films in the various categories as we wanted to show that Marathi has advanced technically. Marathi films should be given more importance as they are getting bigger and better. There should be some technical awards too,maybe for cinematography because the cameramen we have are very talented.
This was my first experience attending such a major show with Bollywood personalities in full force. Since it was Dadasaheb Phalke who instituted films in India,he should be saluted by giving prominence to Marathi films. The respect that the jury members got at the Screen function is worth a mention. Sajid Khan,as the anchor,should have done his homework. When Arun Nalawade came on stage to collect his Best Director award for Bai Manoos,the anchor did not even mention his achievements with Shwaas,which had been an Oscar entry.