The all-women film Bindhaast swept the awards in most categories at the state government’s Marathi film awards function on Sunday. Aishwarya Narkar bagged the best actress award (Ghe Bharari), while Sachin Khedekar won the best actor award for Gharabaher. Gabhara won the best film award.
Veterans like Bhagwan Dada and Vasant Dada Painter were given Lifetime Achievement awards at the progamme held at the Dadoji Kondadev stadium, Thane. A mammoth crowd of over 10,000 attended the function, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and presided over by Union Heavy Industries Minister Manohar Joshi. Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Miss World Yukta Mukhi, actors Jackie Shroff and senior actress Suhas Joshi were also present when the inaugural lamp was lit.
Scheduled to begin at 7.00 pm, the actual jinxed-with-glitches programme took off an hour and a half late with all arrangements from the four gates for smooth entry going topsy-turvy. The biggest problem was at the P Savlaram gate meant for VIPs (corporators and mayors from all civic bodies in Thane), artistes and the press. Once inside, the ingenius in the crowd would collect their friends’ passes and go out to bring in more people. This led to overcrowding. By the time the police wisened to this trick, all the chairs meant for celebrities and VVIPs had also been occupied.
Bollywood celebrities, bureaucrats and senior state politicians did the honours. But the loudest whistles rang for Govinda who came turbanned in a Maharashtrian pheta and spoke in Marathi (“I want to thank my brother Hitendra Thakur for calling me here”).
The programme nearly stopped when Amitabh Bachchan arrived and was mobbed by children, politicians and photographers. He and TMC commissioner T Chandrashekhar gave away the best actor award to Sachin Khedekar, who said, “I am speechless in front of these great personalities,” before handing over the mike to the Big B who said, “We in Bollywood may have better budgets and technical finesse but it when it comes to talent the Marathi film industry can beat us hands down any day.”
Draped in a black sari, Manisha Koirala was a picture of dignified grace when she came up to give the best actress award to Aishwarya Narkar. Best supporting actor and actress award went to Suhas Palshikar and Jyoti Chandale from the same film Gabhara while the best actress in a comic role award went to Neena Sawant (Bindhaast). Ashok Saraf bagged his eleventh state government award for best comic actor. Even Thane police commissioner Bhujangrao Mohite couldn’t help giggling when Macchindra Kambli, along with whom he was doing the honours, broke into Malvani while speaking. Mohan Joshi and Sukanya Kulkarni bagged the critics’ best actor and actress award respectively for Gharabaher.
The best playback singer (female) award went to Kavita Krishnamurthy (Sawai Hawaldar) and in the male category it went to Shankar Mahadevan (Sakhi Majhi). While the award for best lyrics went to Vasu Vaidya (Bindhaast), the award for best music went to Achyut Thakre (Ghe Bharari). Both senior actor Ramesh Deo and Thane collector Mukhesh Khullar were left red-faced when the enveloped they opened to announce the best music award contained Shankar Mahadevan’s name. After some time was spent finding the right envelope, both awards were given away by the duo.
Both best screen-play and dialogue went to Ajit and Prashant Dalwi (Bindhaast) and the award for best script went to Vijay Kavdekar (Gharabaher).
CM Deshmukh also conferred a special Thane Gaurav memnto on the TMC mayor Ramesh Vaithy, deputy mayor Meghnath Mhatre and commissioner T Chandrashekhar for “changing the face of the city.”
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