20th Annual Life OK Screen Awards: Its the Final countdown

Written by Chaya Unnikrishnan | Updated: Jan 11 2014, 01:29am hrs
Screen Awards20th Annual Life OK Screen Awards nominations are as varied as reaction they evoke.
The much-awaited nominations for the 18th Annual Colors Screen Awards are out and our office is being flooded with calls, many complimentary and a few disappointed at their omission from the coveted list. This is not surprising, because Screen Awards have over the years built a reputation of being the most fair and credible awards in the industry. For its neither box-office collection nor popular acclaim that determines its merit but cinematic excellence.

Bollywood threw up an eclectic mix of movies in 2011. While formula films like Ready, Bodyguard and Singham proved to be massive blockbusters, urbane films like Don 2, Rockstar and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara also drew large audiences. And then there were the smaller experimental films like Shaitan, No One Killed Jessica, Delhi Belly, Yeh Saali Zindagi and The Dirty Picture that impressed. Our nominations reflect these changing trends. The irreverent comedy Delhi Belly that is 80 per cent in English leads the pack with 19 nominations including Best Film and Best Director. The small but edgy Shaitan helmed by first-timer Bejoy Nambiar follows with 14 nominations across categories. The coming-of-age film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara toplined by Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif and Farhan Akhtar has garnered 12 while a pathbreaking movie like The Dirty Picture has notched up 10 nominations. Experimental films like No One Killed Jessica, Shor In The City and Yeh Saali Zindagi are almost at par with nine nominations each.

A-listers like Ranbir Kapoor (Rockstar), Vidya Balan (The Dirty Picture) and Priyanka Chopra (7 Khoon Maaf) broke new grounds in terms of the roles they attempted, which not only resonated with the audiences, but got noticed by our jury that nominated them in the Best Actor category. Giving glam divas Priyanka Chopra and Vidya Balan competition is Kalki Koechlin who impressed the jury with her brilliant act in Shaitan. Kangana Ranaut, who turned out to be a pro at comedy in her debut attempt in this genre in Tanu Weds Manu, is the other contender and so is Rani Mukerji for her bold act in No One Killed Jessica.

What is heartening is that majority of the directors in the Best Director list are relatively new. While Bejoy is a debutant, for Abhinay Deo (Delhi Belly), Rajkumar Gupta (No One Killed Jessica), Zoya Akhtar (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) and Krishna D.K and Raj Nidimoru (Shor In The City) their second directorial ventures won them the honours. Of course, theres Milan Luthria giving a run to the younger lot with his bold film The Dirty Picture. The trend started last year that saw three debutants Vikramaditya Motwane (Udaan), Anusha Rizvi (Peepli [Live]) and Maneesh Sharma (Band Baaja Baaraat) making it to the Best Director category. Of these, Udaan and Peepli [Live] were small films and would have been relegated to being festival films if not for the Screen Awards that brought them into the forefront. In fact, Udaan, the coming-of-age story of a teenager that had no stars, had higher nominations than the blockbuster Dabangg.

A glance at the nominations over the years is a testimony to the fact that the Screen jury goes beyond formula films and box-office success to choose those that have broken new ground. Be it Taare Zameen Par, a touching story of an eight-year old dyslexic boy or Life In A..Metro that had six different stories set in Mumbai, they were at par with the blockbuster Om Shanti Om in the race to the top contenders. The following year saw close competition between a period film Jodhaa Akbar, the critically-acclaimed Rock On!! and the gritty A Wednesday that notched multiple nominations. 2010 had the blockbuster 3 Idiots notching up as many as 21 nominations out of 28 categories, competing with the pathbreaking Paa that garnered 14 nominations. The point we are trying to make is that the Colors Screen Awards is one platform where the Davids and Goliaths are at par.

Being a part of the changing face of cinema, wherein detailing and packaging have become paramount, the 18th Annual Colors Screen Awards has introduced a new category of awards i.e the Best Costume. Also, with B-Town actors shedding their conventional roles and embracing different shades, we have bifurcated the Best Actor in a Negative Role category into Male and Female.

With only a few days left for the red letter day, the office is abuzz with excitement. Come January 14 and the winners will be announced at the grand event. So, get ready to raise a toast and join in the celebrations!