Thursday August 22, 2019

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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A New Mindset: Need of Bollywood

Till the 1980s it was usually traders, merchants and traditional money lenders

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Every generation since the beginning of the Indian film Industry has seen a fresh set of people finance it. PIxabay

If the Industry has survived (thrived?) so many decades it is because of the influx of fresh capital from new, glamour struck players. Every generation since the beginning of the Indian film Industry has seen a fresh set of people finance it. Till the 1980s it was usually traders, merchants and traditional money lenders. Then the exhibitors and distributors started advancing money and a lot more of glamour struck venture capital came in. Of course, sine the 1930s the top stars of the time always set up their own production companies and the trend continues to this day. Every decade technology delivers a bonanza to the perpetually cash-strapped film industry.

The popularity of radio and records and cassettes saw music royalty bring in extra cash in the 70s and 80s. This was pattern was replicated by the coming of TV and home video in the 80s and 90s and now streaming rights. However, the big break was the spread of Multiplexes. Suddenly, box office exploded as these modern hangout cinemas pulled the young urban youth and families back to the cinemas. The overseas market, largely driven by large South Asian diaspora, changed another market dynamic. Some younger filmmakers realized this and tailored their films for this well-paying market segment.

A paradigm shift happened in the mid-90s when some young media professionals-turned-entrepreneurs set up the first fledgling studios (after the demise of the earlier lot in the early 50s). A few of the old timers reimagined themselves and stayed in the new sweepstakes. Some music companies too became quasi studios venturing into film production and distribution. By the turn of the millennium, Bollywood had become not only a global brand but a billion-dollar Industry. Entertainment was recognized as Industry making institutional finance available to film producers. Import of equipment was liberalized and foreign shooting became convenient. Slowly the disorganized mom and pop business moved towards professionalism and eventually corporatization. Bank finance, insurance, contracts, copyright came into play.

Mindset, Bollywood, New
If the Industry has survived (thrived?) so many decades it is because of the influx of fresh capital from new, glamour struck players. Pixabay

However, more change was to come in the decade that followed. The rise of the Internet following the mobile revolution changed the game altogether. Rising income and aspirations and changing lifestyles altered the media and entertainment landscape. Digitalization of cinema from pre and post production to distribution and exhibition has also contributed to a dramatic change in Indian cinema. Today you can make a film on your smartphone and commercially release it. Now there are film makers who are making films only for the digital space.

By 2010, major studios — Fox, Disney, Reliance ,Viacom and Zee had arrived and further changed the market dynamics. In the last decade, video-on-demand and Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms together with broadcast TV not only brought additional revenue but newer niche markets. Audience is consuming filmed entertainment differently across different screens. Now Amazon, Jio, Netflix, Hotstar, Zee 5, Alt, Apple, Facebook, Google et al are commissioning films and are the new financiers of the movie industry. Thousands of new and old members of this large fraternity are getting back into the creative mainstream. There are at least a 100 production companies all over India. There are more trained professionals than ever before and encouragingly a lot more women in power in Bollywood. Every year at least twenty first timers make a mark and many of them from small towns with no family connection. For a change the big potboilers compete with small, new age films.

There are many young, often first-time film makers who are making path breaking cinema which a substantial enough audience is loving it. Today’s top actors are also a lot more adventurous. In any case, even the most commercial of films are much more rooted in reality than before. Production design, cinematography and sound are now of international standard. Unfortunately, marketing costs have spiraled up but without the adequate research and media planning resulting a lot of wasteful expenditure. Star prices still remain abnormally high, often being 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the entire budget. Interestingly, after a gap of many decades, talent from smaller towns and even villages are coming to Bollywood and many are making it to the top. Also, a lot more films are set in smaller towns reflecting concerns of a new class of film lovers.

The most heartening development, though, is the influx of streaming services. Not only do they bring a lot of money into the system but also offer a far, far wider variety of films: shorts, documentaries, animated, real-life dramas but also all genres of features films. They are not hung up on stars or big names. Besides, in another welcome development, a number of big producers and directors and even top stars have ventured into producing content for these digital giants. Thankfully, all of them are also giving breaks to new writers and film makers and some exceptionally talented actors.

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There are some endemic problems which still linger. Paucity of screens and over production make it unviable for smaller, especially independent films to get a release. The obsession with big screen in an age where 80 per cent of all content is watched on TV and increasingly online is rather an archaic approach. It is estimated that half the world will watch content on handheld devices by 2025. With a multitude of leisure alternatives films, including those made by Bollywood, have to compete with texting, social media, gaming, sport, live events, streaming audio and video, adventure and even travel and dining out.

Writing largely still remains a weak link and is invariably derivative and mediocre. We need a more energetic and creative fraternity which is willing to experiment and is willing to move to newer platforms. This obsession with the big screen has to end. A few hundred cineastes and critics hung over on purity of cinema cannot let opportunities drift away. Film making is ultimately about storytelling and an audience. Why should screen size be a limitation? A new mindset is what is most required in the Indian film industry, particularly Bollywood. We can, in the next five years, double the size of the filmed entertainment Industry to $6 billion per year. (IANS)