Chairman and Managing Director, The Express Group, Viveck Goenka, on the qualities that qualify a film for the Ramnath Goenka Memorial Award for Excellence in Cinema
As all of you are aware, every year, the editors of The Express Group select one film for the Ramnath Goenka Memorial Award for Excellence in Cinema Award.
This is one award, which I had introduced and is close to my heart. Ramnath Goenka stood for independence and journalistic ethics, and the newspapers which he founded reflect this. Independence and ethics are not just words for us. They are part of our ethos and we have had to consistently forgo some commercial advantages to uphold these values. Consequently, our growing readership is deprived of paid news, page three and pandering to political parties and business interests. On the other hand, they get investigative stories, truthful reports and business and political analysis from some of the best minds in the country.
Now for the award. There were some terrific, groundbreaking films nominated for this award. It was tough to choose between Ankur Arora Murder Case, Ship Of Theseus, Shahid, Madras Cafe and Inkaar. Each of these films had something socially relevant to offer. The choice had then to be based on the criteria which we have set for the awards. The criteria of the selection is simple. Our editors choose a film that best reflects the philosophy of Ramnath Goenka and one which he would have enjoyed watching. The chosen film for this year ticks both boxes. It is a film which takes a hard look at hard realities, takes no sides and pushes the viewer to realise that the consequences of a war cannot be controlled and the complexities of war create ambiguities that are difficult to slot into right and wrong. The chosen film for this year’s award is Madras Cafe.