T’is the start of a New Year and carrying on a fine tradition that has formed over the years, the film industry is readying to embrace the film award season. Speaking for ourselves, the proceedings of the 21st Annual Life OK Screen Awards gets kickstarted this week with a formal announcement of the Jury nominations for 2014, much to everyone’s delight.
Both the Hindi and Marathi Jury who will be introduced shortly, like all the years have painstakingly done a sterling job of poring over the releases of 2014 to shortlist candidates they deem fit for the coveted honour. Like the preceding years, they’ve had a difficult task assimilating and including the best of all kinds of films that now come under the wide ranging entity that Hindi films are today.
The Best Film category is a good starting point. The fact that an unusual and niche film like Ankhon Dekhi finds space along with a mainstream box-office biggie like PK, Haider an adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet, based on the prickly Kashmir issue, coming-of-age films like Highway, Queen and a gritty thriller Ugly—each as different from the other —signals an acceptance of the importance of all types of films.
Industry reactions, that awards of all kinds stir up, are equally varied and compelling too. Over the years, reactions ranging from ‘all awards are fixed’, to ‘people’s verdict on a film is the real deal’, to ‘this is a huge honour and we are delighted to be here’ have come our way. We are happy to admit that we have benefitted from the constructive criticism of things that can be set right.
From paying greater attention to movie screenings, shortlisting (with a Selection Academy firmly in place) to including a variety of films within the nominations and maintaining a Jury that is representative of all kinds of cinema, we pay as much attention to the selection process, as to the glittering ceremony put together to felicitate the winners. While we are far from perfect, there is certainly a perfectionism in the method to the madness adopted by us.
But obviously, the announcement of nominations is a moment of reckoning even for members of the Jury, and they can’t wait to find out people’s verdict on their choices. For all the exclusive details, watch this space for more.