Thursday October 18, 2018

IIFA Awards: ‘Queen’ wins top honors, Shahid bags Best Actor award for ‘Haider’

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Kuala Lumpur: Vikas Bahl’s directorial “Queen”, a coming-of-age story of a woman’s self-discovery, bagged awards in the Best Picture, Best Story and Best Performance in a Leading Role – Female categories at the three-day long 16th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards here.

The Kangana Ranaut-starrer was up against “2 States”, “PK”, “Haider”, “Highway” and “Mary Kom” for the Best Picture trophy.

The actress didn’t turn up to collect her trophy for Best Performance in a Leading Role – Female, so the film’s director received the award on her behalf.

Bahl, however, lost the award in the Direction category to Rajkumar Hirani, who took home the trophy for “PK”.

In the Leading Role – Male category, Shahid Kapoor, who also performed at the award ceremony, hosted by Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor, walked home with the award for his performance in “Haider”.

He had strong contenders in Aamir Khan (“PK”), Hrithik Roshan (“Bang Bang!”), and Shah Rukh Khan (“Happy New Year”).

Hrithik might have lost the award to Shahid, but his “Bang Bang!” act with a bhangra twist won hearts of many, including Deepika Padukone, who was felicitated with Woman of the Year award.

She was also nominated in the Best Performance in a Leading Role – Female.

Riteish Deshmukh grabbed the award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role – Male for his villainous act in “Ek Villain” against competition from Ronit Roy (“2 States”), Randeep Hooda (“Kick”), Inaamulhaq (“Filmistaan”), Naseeruddin Shah (“Finding Fanny”) and Kay Kay Menon (“Haider”).

But Kay Kay wasn’t left disappointed as he received the award for Best Performance in a Negative Role for “Haider”, while his co-star Tabu won Best Performance in a Supporting Role – Female.

There was also an award for Best Regional Film, which went to Riteish-starrer Marathi film “Lai Bhaari”, co-produced by his star wife Genelia Deshmukh.

“Main Tera Hero” star Varun Dhawan won an award for the Best Performance in a Comic Role. The film’s director and his father David Dhawan received the sun-inspired trophy on his behalf.

The Best Music Direction trophy went to the popular trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for “2 States”. Other contenders included Mithoon (“Banjara”, “Zaroorat” and “Hamdard”) and Ankit Tiwari (“Galliyan”), for which he won Best Playback Singer – Male.

In the female category of the award, the “Baby doll” singer Kanika Kapoor (for the film “Ragini MMS 2”) got over competition from Sultana and Jyoti Nooran for “Patakha guddi (“Highway”) and Shreya Ghoshal for “Samjhawan” (“Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania”).

It was a big night for “Heropanti” actors Tiger Shroff and Kriti Sanon, who both won trophies for Best Debut. They were both handed over the trophies by their idols. While Tiger was given the award by Hrithik, Kriti looked thrilled to get the trophy from Anushka Sharma, whom she looks up to.

Tiger and Hrithik also did a few moves together on the stage, while Ranveer and Arjun tried to follow them.

National Award-winning director Omung Kumar got the Best Debut Direction award for “Mary Kom”. He shared it with popular producer Sajid Nadiadwala, who made his directorial debut with “Kick”.

It was an emotional moment when the award for Outstanding Contribution to Indian Cinema was announced. The showman, Subhash Ghai, got on stage to receive it from Anil Kapoor and Jackie Shroff, whom he worked with in the 1989 movie “Ram Lakhan” and more. Shraddha Kapoor also paid tribute to Ghai by performing to songs from his films like “Taal” and “Kisna”.

“I grew up dancing on ‘Taal se taal mila’ in front of the mirror and today I got the opportunity to perform on the song on this platform,” said the 26-year-old actress.

Other performers of the night included Parineeti Chopra and Anushka, who made everyone swing to her performance as she mostly danced to songs from her latest film “Dil Dhadakne Do”. Sonakshi Sinha did a medley of Amitabh Bachchan and other superstars’ songs.

A special tribute to Shah Rukh and Kajol-starrer “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, which completed 1,000 weeks of screening last year, was paid by the show’s hosts, who also cracked jokes on their controversial AIB Roast video for which they got into trouble earlier this year.

Held at Putra Indoor Stadium, the award ceremony was attended by thousands of screaming fans, some of whom had flown from different countries just to see their favorite stars at the gala, which celebrates Indian cinema in various foreign nations every year.

It was a perfect evening to bring the curtains down on the grand three-day celebration of Bollywood in the Malaysian capital, where fans gathered to be part of the glitz and glamour.

-IANS

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India’s #MeToo Movement Makes The Most Glamorous Industry Its Subject Of Scrutiny

While India has been under the spotlight for sexual violence against women, sexual harassment at the workplace has seldom been under scrutiny.

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#MeToo, women
Bollywood actress Tanushree Datta presents a creation by designer Sanjeet Anand at the Bangalore Fashion Week in Bangalore, India. VOA

India is in the midst of its #MeToo moment as leading figures from the country’s entertainment and media industries face a volley of accusations of sexual misconduct from growing numbers of women.

The firestorm has had a powerful impact. In recent days two leading editors have stepped down, a Bollywood production house has been shuttered, India’s top comedy troupe faces an uncertain future and a popular author has apologized.

#MeToo
India’s Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar (front) arrives in Venezuela’s Caribbean island of Margarita for the 17th Non-Aligned Summit in Venezuela. VOA

The allegations have also touched the government. India’s junior foreign minister, M.J. Akbar, is among those named by several women journalists for alleged misconduct during his previous tenure as a leading journalist and editor. He has not yet responded to the allegations and foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, did not comment either.

The trigger for India’s #MeToo campaign came from Bollywood actress Tanushree Datta who last month filed a police complaint in a 10-year-old case alleging that a leading actor, Nana Patekar, behaved inappropriately during a film shoot. He has denied the accusations and sent her a legal notice.

Soon after, a female comedian, Mahima Kukreja, accused a former member of comedy group All India Bakchod, Utsav Chakraborty, of sending her lewd messages and photos. Following similar accusations by other women, Chakraborty apologized on Twitter saying, “It’s a little too late, but I am sorry.”

The two allegations appeared to have touched a nerve among many women in media. During the past few days, there has been an outpouring on social media from scores of women journalists sharing their experiences of inappropriate behavior, ranging from suggestive messages to unsolicited advances with #MeToo.

#MeToo
Christine Blasey Ford testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sept. 27, 2018 in Washington. VOA

The Network of Women in Media group called it a “watershed moment for all of us in journalism,” and said it encouraged more women to “document their accounts without fear or inhibitions.”

In the glitzy Bollywood industry, producer and writer Vinta Nanda, accused actor Alok Nath of sexually abusing her almost 20 years ago on a Facebook post. Nath has told a news agency, “It must have happened, but someone else would have done it.”

Nanda told reporters the movement taking place is “very encouraging, very enabling and this is the reason why I have brought it up.”

Lawyer Vrinda Grover who has helped draft India’s laws on sexual abuse and harassment, said that enabled by technology and social media, women had spoken out because in a new environment, “They will not be immediately blamed as in the past.” On the other hand, it is bringing consequences for harassers.

A high profile movie company, Phantom Films, was dissolved after HuffPost India published an investigation alleging that one of the founders, Vikas Bahl, had assaulted a female employee after a party in 2015. The other partners apologized for mishandling her complaint.

#MeToo
Queen” star Kangana Ranaut hasn’t been far behind in calling out Bahl,

A popular author, Chetan Bhagat, issued an apology after a woman uploaded a screen shot of a text in which the married writer said he wanted to “woo” her.

The editor of a leading newspaper, Times of India, K.R. Sreenivas, has been sent on leave pending an investigation after several women accused him of making sexual propositions. The political editor of another popular daily, the Hindustan Times, Prashant Jha, stepped down after a former colleague accused him of harassing her.

Amid a global movement to hold powerful men accountable for sexual misconduct, Indian women have picked up courage, said journalist Rituparna Chatterjee. “The floodgates to women’s anger have been opened.”

Some women said they were inspired by the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, the university researcher in the United States, who accused, without evidence, U.S. supreme court judge nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers. He is now a Supreme Court justice.

#MeToo
The hushed whispers are getting louder. Flickr

This is not the first time when efforts have been made to bring the #MeToo movement to India, but in the past it has quickly faded away. Last year for example, a crowd-sourced list of academics accused of harassment got little attention.

Also Read: Nana Patekar Denies Accusations of Sexual Harrassment

But lawyer Vrinda Grover calls the ongoing spontaneous campaign a “significant moment” in the effort to address workplace harassment. But she points out that the women who have spoken out largely represent the educated, urban elite and says it will be much harder for those working on shop floors, on construction sites and as household maids to bring attention to their stories.

While India has been under the spotlight for sexual violence against women, sexual harassment at the workplace has seldom been under scrutiny. (VOA)

One response to “India’s #MeToo Movement Makes The Most Glamorous Industry Its Subject Of Scrutiny”

  1. Although this exposure applies only to the famous men, it surely will open eyes of less successful men involved in this kind on action. But just like men many women employees are also lazy/useless/inefficient etc. So punishing those women employees could be tricky for bosses because they can claim punishment for their refusal for bosses’ advances.