With the 20th Annual Life Ok Screen Awards just having been concluded, yours truly, is still recovering from the hangover.
Award ceremonies in present times mean different things to different people and to watch the entire tableau of emotions that unfold around it year after year, is a fascinating exercise.
Given the cheerful reactions to our winners’ roster, one could safely assume that it has found reasonable acceptance among cinephiles across India. Sure, like every year, there were a few murmurs of dissent over nominations — an omission that got me plenty of angry tweets from fans of young actor Ranveer Singh, was for the absence of his name from the Jury nominations for the Best Actor Award.
The sweet and ever effusive Ranveer, known for speaking his mind, was the first to tip me off about the outcry over it on social media. During the course of the conversation, he did admit that he was disappointed since Screen was the first to recognise him as the most promising newcomer after his spectacular debut in Band Baaja Baarat. It was even more disturbing for him because he was set to perform at the awards ceremony, but being the sport that he is, he gradually took it in his stride and went about perfecting his act for the big night.
Director Anand L Rai was a tad upset too for the lack of Best picture/ Best Director nominations for Ranjhanaa, and after some initial reluctance, he did pick up the phone and share his sentiments as well. I must concede that the two gentlemen, though disappointed, were not rude or garrulous — just a wee despondent which is all very understandable. After all, the Screen Awards, in view of the fact that they are deliberated upon by a Jury of eminent film personalities, hold a lot of credibility within the film Industry and not being included in the prestigious list can be a let-down.
That apart, over the years, one would also have to give credit to the film industry, which over time has begun to accept the Jury’s decision with much dignity.
Veteran actor Anupam Kher who had a nomination in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role was the epitome of such good grace. With his Special 26 performance, he may have expected a win but was extremely gallant and charming even when the award finally went to Saurabh Shukla; Kher immediately joined the rank and file of those with a winning attitude. In this dignified company are also included, Boman Irani, a nominee in the negative role category, the gracious Supriya Pathak — a superlative actor, Kalki Koechlin, Huma Qureshi, Nimrat Kaur, Chitrangada Singh, Sonakshi Sinha and Rajkumar Rao.
Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone, two of the tent-pole performers at this year’s felicitation event were among the list of notable worthies who did not bother themselves with sussing out who the winners were.
Under normal circumstances PR agents would call to try and wangle some indication if their clients were the winners. But, this year all of the above mentioned just turned up, happy and jubilant about a nomination for
Of course there were a whole lot of others who did not call in to check on the victory status but then they did end up winning. Such examples of large-heartedness and sporting spirit makes the trouble of organising a mammoth award event, such as this one, worthwhile.
Significant as such professional victories are, achievements seem doubly spectacular when they are accompanied by a sporting attitude. Fortunately, what we saw on display this year, was a healthy mix of both spectacular talent and some great attitude. The film industry is truly evolving; not just in the kind of films that it’s putting out in theatres but also in its acceptance and support of new emerging talent across the spectrum.
More power to them! May their tribe increase!