The 21st Annual Life OK Screen Awards is, as ever, a celebration of creativity and good cinema in Hindi and Marathi. The film industry is a reflection of the thoughts and moods of the nation and like the Sensex, it has also had a great year with PK crossing the Rs.300 crore mark. Marathi films too had a superb run at the box-office.
The Indian Express Group instituted the Screen Awards more than 20 years ago with a single objective in mind—the integrity that formed all our editorial choices from 1932, should be reflected in the awards. It is heartening to note that this has come to pass. Journalism of Courage is not just a tagline for us. It is an article of faith. If this principle comes with a commercial cost, so be it.
The Jury this year, as always, had some of the most eminent names from the film business. They have spent their time to watch the nominated films, deliberate on them and make the right decisions.
The films nominated this year were indicative of India’s fast evolving identity and ethos. While Highway and Queen in their own distinct ways showcased the modern Indian woman, Haider reflected Kashmir’s dilemma over a conflicted existence in a simple but lyrical way. And Ankhon Dekhi told a very personal story of existential crisis. PK showed Rajkumar Hirani at his marvellous best with a pertinent message woven into a great film with a light, deft touch. Ugly forced us to face the harsh realities of life in a metro (Mumbai) and the hard learning that all acts have consequences. Marathi films like Dr. Prakash Baba Amte, Fandry, Rama Madhav, Tapaal and Vitti Dandu with widely varied themes, illustrated that a good script is the ultimate hero and that good films can be commercially successful too. Indian cinema has struck a great balance between art and commerce. Clearly, we have a great future to look forward to.