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PDF Here - The Indian Television Academy
The Chosen Ones...
| GR8 GALA |
The Best serial – Drama (Jury)
Sasural Genda Phool…
Daisy fresh!
In a scenario where being ‘loud’, is being ‘in’ on Television
– it stands as an ‘Outsider’! It had the pluck to be different
and has really stuck its neck out in swimming against the
current. It is brimming with bubbly, bouncy moments
instead of the run-of-the-mill overblown plot-ploys and
‘Drrrama’, leaving us gasping for breath!
It speaks everyday language and grapples with
everyday situations amidst equally everyday
characters. You strike an instant empathy with
Ishaan, Suhana and the giggle-gang surrounding
them in the Kashyap family. But what really amazes
you no end is the way they can any time give you
a lump in the throat amidst all those chuckles and
chortles.
That’s what good Dramas are all about – a
rainbow of the whole gamut of emotions!
Even technically, it has refused to tread the beaten
path. Instead of the ‘insert-10-reactions-after-eachline-spoken’, it has gone in for the ‘Mise-en-scène’
approach, i.e. capturing a scene in its wholeness and
not chopping it into smithereens!
And that’s such a relief!
But the most heartening thing is that with all its
divergence from the hackneyed techniques, it still
has been able to connect. The viewers have been
quick to hitch onto its innovativeness, proving that
they can be won over by something out-of thebox, too. And true to its traditions, The ITA Jury also
chose the offbeat over the orthodox!
Talat Aziz to team Sasural Genda Phool
It crowned ‘Sasural…’ – and hurrah to that!
The Best serial – Drama (Popular)
(Mann Kee Awaaz… Pratigya)
Electricity!
That’s what ran through the viewers watching it. It’s like AC & DC currents
touching you at the same time. On the one side, it rocked your boat with a
no-holds-barred celebration of negativity (the hero revelled in being a bully
of the rowdiest order and so on), on the other, it also created one of the
pluckiest Female protagonists on the
tube who is driven to marriage with
the same man and brings about a
metamorphosis in him. Threaded into
the typical environs of a typical Cowbelt Thakur family, this intense tale
gives the viewers startling vignettes
of feudalistic life and living. Autocrats,
schemers, male-chauvinistic pigs…
what’s it that is not here? It is such a
delicious repast for particularly the
metro-breds, for whom it is pure
exotica and they have taken to it like
nobody’s business!
It has simply wowed one and
wowed all!
That’s how Pratigya, Krishna, Komal
and the redoubtable Thakur Sajjan
Singh are such big household names
all across. Mounted fancifully, its
biggest asset is that it never fights shy
of its melodrama and goes all guns
blazing. That’s why The ITA Popular Poll
was cluttered with ‘Ayes’ to Pratigya,
nixing everything else!
Shakti Kapoor to Team Pratigya
56 | GR8! | december 2010
A benchmark of popularity, today!
Pics.:Sachin Narkar
| GR8 GALA |
Best serial – Comedy (Jury)
FIR
Third degree of fun!
You are booked, hooked and cooked in
the juices of jollity as never before. And
come to think of it – it happens in a
Police Station! By that token, you would
expect it to be a dreadful, deadly spot,
but that’s where you go totally off the
beam.
It’s just the opposite of whatever your
perceptions of a Police Station have
been so far. This one is actually a funny
farm, a crazy quarter, peopled by
whackos in uniform who drive you to
delirious laughter. Heading the herd
is Inspector Chandramukhi Chautala
(Kavita Kaushik) and she takes you on a
rollercoaster ride of rowdy rumpus that
sends you in a spin!
The masterstroke here is to cloak this
character with a Haryanvi hue and
that has really given startlingly funny
results. Indeed, the intrinsic punch of
the rustic dialect has worked wonders
Sharad and Kirti Kelkar to Shashank Bali
for it as Haryanvi is matchless where one-liners are concerned and the
dialogues here are full of those.
And the viewers are in stitches!
And that’s how it has stood the test of time as well. It’s no mean feat for a
comedy to hold its own for years on. FIR has done just that and more!
Wanna risk splitting your sides – see FIR…!
Best Serial-Comedy (Popular)
Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah
Rip-roaring!
It’s a crazy colony, full of wackos of all
kind and together, they can send you in
stitches, gasping for breath. It’s a middle
class cluster of crackpots, who are more
unpredictable than Mumbai’s rains!
What’s even more refreshing is its being
full of slices from everyday life. It doesn’t
take recourse to those twisted gags and
contrived situations that go in the name
of comedy, here!
What a relief!
When the batty Jethalal (Dilip Joshi) and
the bouncy Daya Bhabhi (Disha Vakani)
go bonkers over their equally off-therocker neighbours, the result is deliriously
hilarious!
Still, all these characters are laughable
but not ludicrous. They are not those ill-
David Dhawan to Team of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah
thought-out buffoons you meet all over in comedies, these days. And there
are little touches of emotion that run across the entire fibre of ‘Taarak…’
and that’s what really uplifts this comedy to another level.
In short, it’s a palette of different hues that paint the town red!
GR8! | december 2010 |
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| GR8 GALA |
Best Actor – Drama (Jury)
Jay Soni
(Sasuraal Genda Phool)
The unlikeliest hero!
He doesn’t have a shred of Herogiri in him.
Not for him the overblown, over-the-top
histrionics and hysterics of a typical male
lead – instead, he is soft, silken and muted.
Yet, you won’t lose much time in falling for
him and perhaps a bit slowly, but surely he
would cast his spell on you!
Jay Soni as Ishan has brought back the
subtle nuanced acting of yesteryears’ TV
(remember Buniyaad?). He doesn’t declaim
his dialogue with hell’s fury – he gets to the
inner pith of the lines and then expresses
that with a delicate interplay of emotions
in his eyes. And he does it so unobtrusively
and spontaneously that it touches a deep,
deep chord in your heart!
And he plays it complex as well!
His is not a linear, one note performance. On
the contrary, it works on many planes. His
Karan Wahi and Rumi Jaffery to Jay Soni
Ishan has multiple facets to his persona. At the fist look, you may almost
fall a prey to the perception that he is a nerd. But after a while, you regret
your hasty notion as he is none of that. Instead, you are face-to-face with
an intelligent, insightful personality, who knows exactly how many beans
make five. Similarly, his love for Suhana carries multiple shades – in short,
a truly layered performance!
And that’s what wowed The ITA Jury!
Best Actress – Drama (Jury)
Surekha Sikri
(Balika Vadhu…)
Incomparable!
She has given a new high to Television by her
consummate artistry! It’s such an experience to witness
her make Daadisa come alive on the screen. You marvel
at her subtlety, her body language, her enunciation of
words and of course, hell hath no fury as her projection of
anger on the screen as the choleric grandma!
You are left agape!
At the very outset of Balika Vadhu, she
cast an instant spell on the viewers and
if the serial has scaled big heights today,
much of it is thanks to Surekha Sikri. In
fact, for the last two years she had been
wrongly entered in the category of ‘Best
Actress in a Negative Role’. Hers is a far
more complex performance than being
just slotted and stamped as ‘Negative’.
This year better sense dawned and
she was entered as ‘The Best Actress
– Drama’!
58 | GR8! | december 2010
Ashvini Yardi and Kamalika Guha Thakurta
to Avika Gor (on behalf of Surekha Sikri)
And that did it! She won hands down! The
Jury was unanimous in adorning her with
the Award. Indeed, if Surekha Sikri’s Daadisa
is not the bestest of the best in acting on
Television today – what is?
Surekha Sikri
It’s a privilege to watch her!
| GR8 GALA |
Best Actor – Drama (Popular)
Sushant Singh Rajput
(Pavitra Rishta)
Chameleon!
How else can you describe one who can slip
into the skin of any character with equal ease
and expertise? From the hep and happy-golucky Preet of Kis Desh Mein Hai Mera Dil to
the introvert and inwardly incensed Manav
of Pavitra Rishta, he has done it all and done
it with a flair and flourish that only seeing is
believing!
Particularly as Manav he has raised the bar
of intensity on the screen. That simmering
agony in his eyes, that heart-wrenching
interplay of pain on his face and those softly
intoned, emotion-laden lines – it all leaves
you totally mesmerised. Indeed, he has
breathed so much life into the character that
you just forget about Manav being fiction
and start feeling that he really exists in flesh &
blood before you! And that’s what has earned
him his claim to fame!
Today, Sushant’s Manav is a toast of TVwatchers all across. He and his predicament
Uday Shankar & Shashank Srivastava
(Maruti) to Sushant Singh Rajput
is the butt of discussions in homes, streets and bazaars. In fact, this
performance of his is the pièce de résistance and the USP of Pavitra
Rishta - so much so that it’s almost a sacrilege to even think of anyone
else in the role!
And that’s how he galloped leagues ahead of competition in The ITA
Popular Poll, winning it hands down in the Best Actor-Drama (Popular)
category!
Choice of the Nation – not an iota of doubt about it!
Best Actress – Popular
Rashami Desai
(Uttaran)
Smouldering!
Be it her looks, her carriage, her airs – she throws
an attitude on you that is simply simmering.
Here is someone for heads to turn compulsively
towards her, what with being endowed with a
magnetic presence. Add to it her intrinsic talent
of multi-hued expressions and the sum total is
truly lethal!
After stray forays into nondescript roles, her time
came with Uttaran. As Tapasya in it, Rashami
created magic of a kind, seen rarely on TV. With
that doll of a face, when she turned obsessivecompulsively negative, this strange blend and
chemistry was just electric!
There was no way you could ignore Rashami
Desai’s Tapasya!
And it goes to her credit that even after
hundreds of episodes, there hasn’t been a let-up
in her intensity or her oomph. That’s why despite
negative streaks, she is loved by the viewers of
all hues and substance. Her allure cuts across age
Sudesh Berry to Rashami Desai
groups and tastes. They all wait avidly to swoon over her allure
and antics in episodes after episodes of Uttaran.
And they stuck to her in The ITA Poll, too!
GR8! | december 2010 |
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| GR8 GALA |
Best Director – Drama (Jury)
Rajesh Ram Singh
(Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo)
Pushing the envelope!
It’s no mean task! Having a melodrama at hand and then handling
it with sensitivity and what is even more challenging – subtlety.
Rajesh Ram Singh has done just that! He
has infused the opacity of a melodramatic
plot like Agle janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo
with a translucence that is well and truly
captivating!
For once, here is a TV director who knows
exactly when to hold and when to let up
the stream of emotions on the screen.
His handling of actors is well and truly
exceptional and he gets better than
the best from each of them. That’s why
‘Agle…’ is marked by so many superlative
performances from Laali (Ratan Rajput)
to Loha Singh (Sudesh Berry) to Shekhar
(Abhishek) to whoever…!
He knows his onions - and how!
In contention for The ITA top honour in
direction since its very start, ‘Agle…’ stands
tall today when its skipper got the coveted
trophy. And without a shred of doubt, it
couldn’t have been better deserved, what
with his having made a director’s presence
felt in a medium where directors have
increasingly lost their bearings!
Krishika and Sunil Lulla to Rajesh Ram Singh
Keep it up!
Best Director – Comedy (Jury)
Ashwni Dhir
(Laptaganj)
It’s like walking on a rope!
That is choosing a celebrated piece of literature
and transcribing it onto the screen – one slip
and you can come crashing down. It really
needs tremendous pluck and expertise to
do that and the biggest of them have often
floundered in doing the trick!
But Ashwni Dhir is another story!
He picked up the gauntlet to take on the
works of someone as celebrated a littérateur
as Sharad Joshi and brought his little nuggets
onto the screen in Lapataganj on Sab TV. And
what a rollicking fare he turned in – and so
differently, too! ‘Lapatagang’ is more into the
inner idiosyncrasies of ordinary people. It culls
out the Comic out of that rather than latching
onto the usual trappings of a regular comedy
like overblown situations and those doublemeaning dialogues, at the drop of a hat!
N.S. Bhangoo and Shruti Seth to Ashwni Dhir
It has frothy vignettes of everyday life with everyday characters and
Ashwni has given his uniquely individualistic touch to it like always
(remember Office-Office, where he created extraordinary fun out
of the ordinary people and gave comedy a new high on the Small
Screen…). Indeed, making people laugh – and that too without
resorting to the crass – is tougher and more punishing than whatever
our dear old Hercules went through once!
It needs an Ashwni Dhir to come up trumps in that!
62 | GR8! | december 2010
| GR8 GALA |
Best Actor – Comedy
Rohitashv Gour
(Lapataganj)
A natural!
His is none of that typical comic act of
contorted face, wild gesticulations and
affected accent! Instead, he walks, talks and
behaves like any regular person would in
real life.
Still, he works up sparkling humour and
tickles our funny bone in a way that is rare to
find in the glut of comedies, coming out of
our ears these days. In the stilting scenario,
Rohitashv’s Mukundi is a whiff of fresh air.
A small-time sarkari babu, Mukundi Lal
Gupta is one who ‘normally’ doesn’t take a
bribe and amidst all the whacky goings–
on in this funny farm called Lapataganj,
he takes centre–stage as its corrective
influence.
Written by the ace writer of comedies,
Ashwni Dhir, Lapataganj in full of frothy lines
and Rohitashv makes optimum use of them.
Swapnil Joshi and Gaurav Gera to Rohitashv Gour
He has a yen for catching the nuances of the written script and that
doubles the impact of the humour therein.
Subtle, sharp and sunny, Rohitashv adds a dimension all his own to
comedy on the tube. You just have to watch his Mukundi once and
you would go to him again and again!
He becomes an addiction!
Best Actress – Comedy (Jury)
Kavita Kaushik
(FIR)
Such a scream!
She is your biggest laughterchallenge and trust us, however
hard you may try, you cannot resist
rolling over with bellyaching laffs
at her antics. Indeed, it is one
battle you are destined to loose, all
ends up!
Kavita ne crazy kiya re!
And make no mistake about it
– it was tough for her! It is one
character that could have easily
gone wrong in lesser hands.
When you take to a rustic accent
(Haryanvi), put on the garb of
something as drab and dreary as
an Inspector and try to make daydo-day police chores funny – 9 out
of 10 chances are that you could
end up looking ridiculous!
But Kavita is another story!
Anita Hassanandani and Kiran Kumar to Kavita Kaushik
In fact, she does what she does with such spontaneity that in a jiffy, the
viewers are eating out of her hands. They accept all her quirks and caprices
as natural and start laughing with her and not on her!
And that’s what the real craft of a Comic is – making the outrageous,
spontaneous!
GR8! | december 2010 |
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| GR8 GALA |
quite a while, the seething volcano inside
him has remained unrecognized and
untapped.
Best Actor in a Negative Role
Anupam Shyam
But that had to change!
(Mann Kee Awaaz… Pratigya)
You can’t pin a cloud down – not for long, anyway!
It will soar – maybe later than when it should have, but it’s only a
matter of time. And the winner in this category today is the burning
example of that. Anupam Shyam has been late in arriving and for
And look today – as the ferocious, foultongued and feudalistic Thakur Sajjan Singh
in ‘Pratigya’, he has sent tremors on the small
screen. Today, he is the centre of discussions
all across. They love to hate him, but can’t
resist him, either - it’s like a spell of evil has
been cast on the viewers!
Though late in coming, Sajjan Singh was
an opportunity he grabbed with both the
hands. And he has gone the extra mile in
projecting this diabolical character on the
screen.That grainy boom in his voice, that
menace in his eyes and that ability to graph
out the sinister and weave it into the whole
fibre of the character – it all sends shivers
down your spine.
The long and short of it is that it’s a huge
talent underscored, once and for all. With
the wily Thakur, Anupam is here to stay and
his talent can no longer be wished away by
myopic holders of reins in the Tvdom, today.
Shaad Randhawa to Anupam Shyam
Welcome to the TV Hall of Fame, Anupam!
Best Actress in Negative Role
Meghna Malik
(Na Aana Iss Des Laado)
Awesome!
Evil attracts and when it is someone as
talented as Meghna Malik is portraying it – it
attracts doubly. Such is her virtuosity is being
vile on the screen that it leaves viewers agape
with awe and wonder!
She has sculpted Ammaji in ‘Na Aana…’ with
an amazing aplomb. She pierces you with that
laser gaze in her eyes, weighs you down with
that dark authority in her tone & tenor and
can browbeat you with that seething body
language of hers! Here is a character that could
make an irritating visual, but Meghna’s finesse
makes it awesome.
No wonder she is top of the heap in this
category!
Today, Meghna has given a new sheen and
shimmer to the ‘Negative’ on the screen and
she has also achieved the strangest of a feat in
that. For all her evil, she still strikes the viewers
64 | GR8! | december 2010
Goldie Behl to Meghna Malik
more with awe than with abomination. Actually, they love her
– so much so that they even emulate her gestures, her walk, her
talk – everything! That’s a big, big achievement!
Amaaji, is a golden chapter in the book of Negativity on TV,
today!
| GR8 GALA |
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Ayub Khan
(Uttaran)
Pedigree!
Yes, it’s on his side! But coming in
from the immediate family of a living
legend like Dilip Kumar may mean
loads of baggage on anyone in terms
of talent, performance and success. It’s
a forbidding yoke to carry, but Ayub
Khan has carried it well! Maybe not by
way of the phenomenal success that
the thespian has achieved (but then
a Dilip Kumar can happen only once!),
but as far as talent and performance
go, Ayub has never been found
wanting!
He carries the family flag well in that
respect!
His control over his expressions,
his voice-modulations and his
uncanny ability to slip into the skin
of the character deep is, today, well
recognised – particularly after Uttaran!
As Jogi Thakur in the serial, he has
Ferdinand Maultaschl (Australian Ambassador), Shrishti Arya
and Prem Sagar to Ayub Khan
given a new dimension to TV acting. By all counts, his is a performance to
reckon with and many a time, single-handedly, he lifts an average scene
to another level!
Jogi Thakur is a long-awaited, long-deserved opportunity that he has
used to the hilt in proving once and for all that here is a major talent
who can light up the screen with his sparkling presence and deeply felt
performance!
And this year, The ITA Jury, too, stamped that!
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jury)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Supriya Pilgaonkar
(Sasural Genda Phool)
A Natural!
She doesn’t act – she behaves! It has been amazing how she can retain her
spontaneity even while doing the oddest of scenes (Remember Tu, Tu, Main
Main?). But in ‘Sasural…’ she didn’t have to worry on that score. The serial
gave her very day-to-day situations and
a character natural as natural can be.
It never put her in a stilted spot. And
Supriya has had a field-day with the
role!
As Badi Ma, she is a picture of ease
and equanimity and never ever looks
like that it’s a shot she is giving. And
that speaks about both of the tickling
situations as well as the deeply
emotional ones that the serial
abounds in!
Just the correct tinge of expression,
the correct modulation of voice and
the correct control over movement
– Supriya creates an arresting persona
on the screen as Badi Ma. What is more,
despite a big bunch of boisterous
characters all around, a bouncy gal as
the female lead and a deeply-nuanced
boy as the hero – Supriya’s presence and
performance is not lost in that tapestry.
Instead, she comes across as absolutely
pivotal to story and you cannot fail to
sit up and take notice of whatever she is
doing on the screen!
Jassi Kaur and Sanjay Gupta to Supriya Pilgaonkar
And oftentimes, she turns the
‘Supporting’ role into a ‘Central’ one!
GR8! | december 2010 |
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| GR8 GALA |
The Best Child Artiste (Jury)
the past. That’s something which would be impossible to beat for a long,
long time to come, if ever. What is really astounding is the fact that she
was able to hold on her own despite being surrounded by formidable
veterans like Surekha Sikri and others. She can snatch a scene from their
teeth at the snap of a finger and that’s what makes her such a treat to
watch on the screen!
Avika Gor
Best Child Artiste (Jury)
(Balika
Vadhu)
Avika Gor
(Balika Vadhu)
A marvel!
She doesn’t stop amazing you!
This slip of a girl has achieved
what is the envy of even veterans.
It’s almost impossible to think of
her as a Child Artiste. She does
her act with such aplomb that you
start looking at her as a seasoned
pro!
That’s the stuff winners are made of!
Julius Caeser said, ‘Veni, vedi,
vici’ (I came, I saw, I conquered!)
and Avika’s success as Anandi
has been nothing short of the
Caesarean feat. She, too, cast her
spell on the viewers from day one
of her appearance in the role!
That’s an achiever!
This bundle of explosive talent
has even won in The Best Actress
Category of The ITA Awards, in
Shubha Khote and Bhavana Balsaver to Avika Gor
The GR8! Ensemble Cast, 2010
Balika Vadhu
Unique to Television!
At times, we have a show on
TV that has a tremendous
group effect and in spite of
some towering roles in it, the
impact of the collective body
of performances remains
intact. In fact, there is not
a single false note struck in
the entire tapestry of actors
portraying various characters
therein!
In other words – it’s a great
Ensemble!
That’s where GR8! comes in – it
accords recognition to a great
Ensemble evident in a show.
So the magazine conducts a
poll amongst its readers and
the results are whetted by a
panel to zero in on a show
that has the finest display of
Ensemble acting in it!
This year, the crown went to
68 | GR8! | december 2010
Sanjay Gadhvi to the Balika Vadhu team
the cast of Balika Vadhu – an indisputable choice as far as Ensemble Acting goes. The
serial has superlative work done by each and everyone of its band of actors. And they
all complement rather than contest each other’s performance – and that’s the real test
of a worthy Ensemble!
Be it Surekha Sikri (Daadi sa), Avika Gor (Anandi), Jagiya (Avinash Mukerjee) or other
Characters like Bhairon (Anoop Soni), Sumitra (Smita Bansal), Gehna (Neha Marda)
and so on and on and on, including even a miniscule role like the servant in the family
– they all leave a cohesive impact on the viewers!
Hats off!
| GR8 GALA |
Best Thriller/Horror Show (Jury)
CID
Is it real?
Pinch us please! A show entering its 13th (or is it
14th) year, still connecting with the viewers and
still winning an ITA trophy for excellence in its
genre – isn’t that the stuff wishful dreams are
made of? But CID is no dream – it’s a hardcore
reality and is very much happening, today,
before our eyes!
What is even more stunning is the fact that
the edgy energy and the enthu it had in its
1st episode that happened what seems eons
ago, continue with the same intensity in its
latest one. Not for a moment they have let
complacence set in, despite the historic success
they have had!
CID retains the seething lava of its inception,
to this day!
And it’s not every day that a fictional character
acquires such a total suspension of disbelief
amongst people that they start believing
and treating it as real. In literature, a Sherlock
Holmes or a Hercules Poirot comes to mind, but
Rajshree Thakur and Rohit Khurana to reps of Powder and CID
in CID, not one, not two, but the whole team of ACP Pradyuman
Singh and his deputies has walked into people’s perception
as real. That, in fact, gives way to a lot of amusing incidents
in the lives of Shivaji Satam, Aditya, Daya etc. who play those
characters, like real policemen saluting them, people coming
for investigative help and so on!
That’s something!
Bravo!
Best Thriller/Horror Serial (Jury)
Powder
A powerhouse!
It’s that in-your-face, no-holds-barred assault on you that’s a
memorable treat to watch. ‘Powder’ catches you napping. It hits you
with its concept, plot-structure and execution to leave you in a spin.
It packs a big wallop!
‘Powder’ here refers to Narcotics and there is this Narcotics Control
Bureau headed by the no-nonsense, stiffupper lip Usman Ali Malik (Manish). The
team operating under him is an assorted lot,
including the tart-tongued, devil-may-care
and fiercely individualistic Mahendra Ranade
(Rahul Bagga), who has been clubbed with
the equally individualistic Brinda (Geetika
Tyagi) and the two are as apart as North Pole
is from South Pole.
The result is sparks flying between the two of
them at the drop of a hat, but, both continue
to be bonded by the call of duty. However,
as they say, opposites attract and there is an
unstated signal to that effect between the
two, but they are too occupied with their
mission to actually realise that.
And that mission under Usman Ali is to
destroy the vicious cartel of drug peddlers
in the city. That’s how they are on a deathdefying operation to nab the drug-lord
Naved Ansari (Pankaj Tripathi) and shatter
his nefarious nexus! In the process, we have
a whole sweep of suspense, shocks and
staggering chases!
Rahul Bagga and Manish Chaudhari
In short, it’s a rush of adrenalin with
amazing intensity!
GR8! | december 2010 |
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| GR8 GALA |
Best Anchor Game/Quiz Show (Jury)
Compelling!
Rajeev Khandelwal
He is one of the most persuasive personalities on
the screen. He has the gift of the gab and a way with
the words that can strike an immediate comfort
level with the person sitting opposite him and that,
actually, is the biggest asset of a TV host or anchor.
(Sach Ka Samna)
And Rajeev uses this asset to the optimum while
anchoring a challenging show like ‘Sach Ka Samna’
– challenging because it is all about stripping
people to the bones and hence, can be the most
uncomfortable one for its participants.
But not with Rajeev there at the helm as Anchor!
Lataa Saberwal and Sanjeev Seth to Manish
and Mantra (on behalf of Rajeev Khandelwal)
He puts them at rest and dilutes their ordeal, but, at
the same time, it is also a fact that he lets nobody
get away with a sham and the way he catches the
‘unsaid’ out of what is ‘said’ is a treat to watch. Also,
his interaction with the family members and friends
of the participants, who have accompanied them to
the show, is full of vibrant vibes. To cap it, his innate
sense of humour, too, comes is handy here and
lifts the show to a pleasurable plane rather, than it
coming across as a dry, dreary experience. Indeed,
it’s Rajeev’s presence that saves ‘Sach Ka Samna’
from being hopelessly bitter!
It’s difficult to imagine anyone else in his shoes!
Rajeev Khandelwal
Best Anchor News/Current Affair Show (Jury)
Rajdeep Sardesai
The torch-bearer!
Aware, astute and always on the ball, Rajdeep Sardesai
is the perfect prototype of a News Anchor on our
Television. He has a way with the people and can make
them open their hearts out to him. And there is a deep
streak of humanity in his persona!
‘Ground Zero Bhopal’ is a stirring display of Rajdeep
at his humanistic best. Dwelling upon the calamitous
tragedy of the Bhopal Gas catastrophe, it has Rajdeep
going into those mazy by-lanes of the star-crossed city
to take the viewers to a first hand experience of what
all is happening to these children of a lesser God!
Recently, there was a decree by the court that 12,000
rupees compensation is given to each victim therein.
The preposterous injustice of this verdict comes alive
when you see Rajeev talking to Hazra Bi in J P Nagar,
the small pocket of the city that had a death count of
300 in it with everybody else ailing grievously because
of the after-effects of those fatal fumes!
Hazra Bi’s three generations have been put to death
and disease and today, she calls herself a Zinda Laash!
The Bhopal Gas tragedy cuts across all cast & creed
70 | GR8! | december 2010
Ramesh Sippy to Rajdeep Sardesai
and to each Hazra Bi, there is a Leela Bai or a Chunni Bai, equally
devastated by that killer gas of Union Carbide.
Rajdeep’s interaction with them is full of compassion that comes
across as absolutely genuine. You can see their tragedy is his
eyes, in his sudden loss of words and that soft tap of his on their
shoulders!
That’s touching the sublime!
| GR8 GALA |
Best Anchor Talk/Chat Show
Amitabh Bachchan
(Bigg Boss-season 3)
What can one say here?
That he is matchless, peerless and leaves you
speechless… well, no epithets can possibly
define or describe his halo. Today, he stands like
a polestar both on the big and the small screen
as well!
Actually, where Television is concerned, he is
the one who catapulted it to the dizzy heights
where it finds itself today through his iconic
show, ‘KBC’. This year, he chose to anchor Bigg
Boss and gave it a new-found dignity. That’s the
miracle of his presence!
The show, itself, is nothing but a voyeuristic
romp to appease the appetite of the outlandish
and the outrageous amongst the viewers. But
Big B’s coming on Bigg Boss made a world of
difference to it. With him there, its scandalous
aura was suitably diluted!
You have to see to believe the kind of spell
he can cast on people and form or change
Raza Murad and Mona Ambegaonkar to rep
the course of their opinions and perception. Also, he wears his
gargantuan status light on his sleeves and is, in fact, humility
incarnate in dealing with people. Despite all its sensationalism,
Bigg Boss depends heavily on the punch and panache of its anchor
and the name Amitabh Bachchan is just what the doctors ordered
for it!
They don’t make them like that anymore!
Best Historical/Mythological Serial (Jury)
(Jhansi Ki Rani)
Stirring!
It’s galloping gloriously ahead of anything else in its genre’. Not only this, it’s
even giving the Social Serials a run for their money. Recently, many an attempt at
mounting a historical has floundered hopelessly on TV and it was almost thought
that the days of the Tipu Sultans of this world are over and the Small Screen is no
more a place for a period extravaganza!
Jhansi ki Rani has turned that notion on its head!
Not only this, it has also effaced
the jinx stuck on transcribing the
tale of Raani Lakshmi Bai onto
the screen. All previous attempts
to do so, including the one made
by the redoubtable Sohrab Modi,
had come a cropper!
The tale became kind of a
taboo in showbiz!
But the present makers showed
exemplary pluck in picking up
the gauntlet of making a success
of the saga on the screen. And
they did it! They threw the jinxed
bit into the dustbin it deserved
and wrought out a huge
bonanza despite formidable
competition in its slot!
And the blood and sweat shows
on the screen. Detailed research,
spectacular sets, elaborate
costumes and powerhouse
performances – all combine to
make Jhansi Ki Rani a toast of
the Nation!
Sudhanshu Pande and Sayantani Ghosh to the Jhansi Ki Rani team
What a show!
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Best Anchor – Music/Film-based Show (Jury)
Best Anchor Music & Film-based show
Shahid Kapoor
S(Nokia 16th Annual Star Screen Awards)
Being different in a clutter!
Anchoring an Awards Night is reduced to a drab drill, today. The
same PJ’s, the same affected mannerisms and the same high-pitched
sloganing – it’s a predictable, mechanical and dreary drivel that leaves
you cold most of the time!
But there are exceptions!
Yukta Mookhey and Ken Ghosh to Shahid Kapoor
And Shahid Kapoor proved himself
to be one recently at the Star
Screen Awards, when he took upon
himself the mantle of anchoring
the Ceremony and gave a rollicking
account of himself that left the
viewers pleased as punch and craving
for more!
In fact, it is one thing to mug up
and then blurt out the script, but
quite another to live the lines with
unbounded gusto and sparkling
spontaneity!
That’s exactly what Shahid did in
his avatar of an anchor, here. With
consummate ease, he struck a one
on one note with the audience
and despite a whirligig of starperformances and pageantry, they
avidly awaited each of Shahid’s entries
during the Awards. That speaks
volumes about creative spectrum of
Pankaj Kapur & Neelima Azim’s son!
‘It’s the genes!’ – what say!
Best Music Film-based show (Jury)
Indian Idol-5
The seed!
It spawned the Music Talent Hunt Reality Show
in the form we know it today. Prior to it Sa Re Ga
Ma did hunt talent and with distinction, too – but
it was nowhere near the in-the-face, hard-boiled
commercial cast & mould of Indian Idol that
triggered an SMS tsunami on TV, stacking the
Mohan Bhandari and Aparna Tilak to Indian Idol team
coffers of the Channel to the brim! Later, Sa Re
Ga Ma, too, changed stripes and came up with a
vengeance on the ‘Reality’ scene in the way it had
The three judges, Anu Malik, Sunidhi Chauhan and Salim Merchant were
been scripted by Indian Idol, initially!
also seen concentrating more on talent than tripe, or playing a cat & mouse
The 5th season has been full of technical wizardry, game with the contestants.
showmanship and oodles of entertainment. But
the thing that was different this time was its more And it must have been quite a task for the organisers to keep Anu
pronounced focus on talent and music that was Malik on the leash!
getting lost in last few seasons.
Finally, when Big B announced the Secunderabad lad Sreeram Chandra as
the winner, a new leaf looked to be turning in the world of playback singing,
It majorly scuttled the ‘Funky Auditions’ this
as the boy is already going great guns today, what with film-assignments,
year and concerned itself more with scooping
International Albums and all!
out genuine talent. Then, moving onto the
main contest quickly, it had itself better paced
That’s what the Indian Idol should all be about!
throughout.
72 | GR8! | december 2010
| GR8 GALA |
Best Reality Show
Stunt Mania
Spirit over strength!
It’s a taxing feat to achieve, a punishing
drill to do and that too with excruciating
emotions to experience. It challenges
you, kicks you in the shins and wallops
the daylights out of your courage. In
other words, it forks out the raw in you!
‘Stunt Mania’ is a whiplash!
But the biggest thing here is the concept
that not strength, but spirit is pivotal
to heroics. Through all those stunning
stunts that the contestants are plunged
in, it basically searches their spirit and
Sheeba and Akashdeep to Stunt Mania rep
gives them a clarion call to free it from
the shackles of physical limitations. And
then, one sees how limitations are turned
innovatively used with split screens and exciting, edgy and energised editing.
into assets and how the impossible
becomes possible!
To cap it are the vignettes of ‘Reality’ amongst the contestants that bring out
This stirring concept has been mounted the core emotional quotient of each contestant. It strips them to the bones!
with an exceptional technical finesse.
‘Stunt Mania’ is a mania worth going through!
The rectangle of the screen is most
Best Game/Quiz Show
Mahindra AQ Quiz
(NDTV Profit)
Innovative!
It’s a Quiz show about Autos and it has
been cast in an imaginative mould.
Four sets of youngsters are chosen
from Engineering Colleges across the
length & breadth of the country and
are put to grill for giving expression to
the intensity of their Auto passion.
The show has been divided in four
segments, aptly titled – ‘Start Your
Engine’, ‘Traffic Signal’, ‘Shifting Gears’
and ‘Fast Lane’! Now the quizmaster
(Siddharth Vinayak Patankar, Editor,
Auto, NDTV group) darts questions
relating to the Auto world on them
and each correct answer they give is
actually one kilometer earned.
The questions, besides tapping
the knowledge quotient of the
contestants, are also searching their
personas, like Siddharth asks a boy
about what Auto passion means to
him… ‘Oh! A lot!’ the boy throws an
Ashok Pandit and Mr. Joseph of AMAP doing the honors
Mohan Bhandari and Aparna Tilak to the host of
the show and producer Geetanjali Roy
attitude, ‘It’s one passion everybody should have – particularly a guy, as
it’s in the DNA!’
That’s giving a peep into Gen-next!
Indeed, it would be only stressing the obvious that the show operates at
many levels and is illuminating to the core. Quizzing, of course, is always
interesting, but here they are going the extra mile!
And we Oliver Twists are asking for more!
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Best Talk/Chat Show
Children’s Day at 7 RCR
(CNN-IBN)
That’s talking!
‘Children’s Day at 7 RCR’ is enchanting! It really
shows what all a Chat show should really be
– subtle, spontaneous and spur-of-the-moment,
unlike the sham that goes in the name of Talk/Chat
shows on our Channels, today.
Much of it can be attributed to the children
participating in the programme. They remain
effervescent and unguarded even while in
conversation with Dr Manmohan Singh, the PM
of the country. His high & mighty status does not
seem to weigh them down and that’s such a treat
to watch!
And it’s such a cute delight when a little young
thing asks him, ‘Aap itna kam kyon bolte hain?’ The
good doctor, too, is spontaneous to the hilt – ‘In a
coalition, it is better to hold your tongue rather than
wagging it wildly!’
The PM is accompanied by his better-half,
Gursharan Kaur, who is absolutely at ease,
hobnobbing with the young ‘uns. She gives
Siddharth Kak and Shailendra
Singh to Suhasini Haider
them little nuggets from her domestic life, while the ever
unflappable Singh Sahib keeps breaking into quiet smiles!
The whole experience is so arresting that you fall for the show,
lock, shock and barrel. The goings-on really pull out a miracle.
They get the apex couple of the country to come across as
totally alike the children themselves, i.e., wet behind the ears
and callow as callow can be!
You couldn’t have asked for more!
Best New & Current Affairs Show (Jury)
Killed in the Name of Honour
(CNN-IBN)
A mirror!
It shows the ugly contours of the social evils in
the heartland of India. The virus of feudalism
still infects mindsets through the entire length &
breadth of the country and that gives way to some
of the most heinous crimes, sanctified in the name
of society!
One such monstrous misdeed in Honour Killing,
whereby boys & girls falling in love without
conforming to the social sanctions and norms are
slaughtered by their own kith & kin on the altar of
community morality.
Here, Nilanjana Bose takes us on an eye-opening
excursion into the dastardly deeds committed by
people on their own flesh & blood. The first halt is
in Haryana, where the ‘Khap’ concept forbids a boy
to get married to a girl of his village.
To them, it is incest!
Hence, we are plunged headlong into the dark
tales of the likes of Vedpal & Sonia (Jind), Jasbir
& Sunita (Karnal) and so on, who were all killed
74 | GR8! | december 2010
Siddharth Kak and Shailendra Singh to Nilanjana Bose
because they belonged to the same cast, ‘Gotra’ or community or
Khap – whatever you call it. Nilanjana draws chilling bytes from the
unrepentant, unashamed and unyielding perpetrators of the crime.
Your heart goes out to the victims and you are mentally devastated by
the situation, where even Science Graduates hold the same mindsets.
The last straw is when the CM, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, too, waves off
the whole thing casually – ‘Ye Samaaji Maamley Hain!’
Disgusting…
And what a kickass show!
| GR8 GALA |
GR8! Face of the year, 2010 (Female)
Ankita Lokhande
(Pavitra Rishta)
A rainbow!
That’s what can describe her performance
in Pavitra Rishta – it’s a rainbow of
emotions! Despite heavy melodramatic
strains in her role, Ankita Lokhande has
performed it with a studied low-key and
you cannot but be moved by that pain in
her eyes and that anguish playing on her
face. She has given to Archana a rare touch
of angst!
Instantly, you fall for that middle-class girl
in the clutches of grievous circumstances!
And the way she has portrayed ‘Love’ in the
role is simply out of this world. Few, if at all,
before her have created such a complex
chemistry with their beaus on the screen!
Annu Kapoor and Apurva Agnihotri to Ankita Lokhande
deepest recesses of your heart she strikes a chord with that
interplay of pain and pleasure.
She takes your breath away!
This one performance is enough to make Ankita carve out a high
niche for herself in TV, today. Indeed, she is everybody’s fondest
idea of an ideal daughter ideal sister and, of course, ideal beloved!
Hers is the face that launches a whole
gamut of emotions – all at once! In the
That’s a face there that stays with you long, long after the
viewing!
GR8! Face Male, 2010
Harshad Chopra
(Tere Liye)
The eternal romantic!
He is the archetypal lover! Misty eyes, silken
vocals and a face that launches a hundred
emotions this ‘Pyaar Hi Pyaar’ dude is the stuff
teenyboppers would swoon at!
Add to these bodily charms some large
dollops of pure passion and the sum total
is Harshad Chopra! These intrinsic attributes
of his have been thoroughly explored and
exploited in his current tryst with Television,
‘Tere Liye’. As Anurag Ganguli in it, Harshad
has made deep inroads into the hearts of the
viewers, because of his portrayal of a starcrossed lover, who is always on the brink!
The biggest asset of Harshad is that his inner
intensity and his romantic streaks can easily
rub off on his screen partner, giving way to
sparkling chemistry on the screen. That’s how
he created such a stir with his Prem Juneja in
‘Kis Desh Mein Hai Mera Dil’ not so long ago.
Abhijeet Sawant and Yogesh Lakhani to Harshad Chopra
The sparks he triggered with Heer (Aditi Gupta) are still cherished by
TV-watchers all across!
An amazing enchanter of amour!
And today as Anurag, he recreates the same magic with Tani (Anupriya
Kapoor) in ‘Tere Liye’ and is a toast of the viewers all over again. You fall for
Anurag instantly, laughing with him, crying with him and raving about his
steaming, smouldering romance!
And the result is the crown of GR8! Face!
GR8! | december 2010 |
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| GR8 GALA |
Best Entertainment
Channel (Popular)
Star Plus
Nigaar Z. Khan and Ramesh Taurani to Monika Shergill
Best Hindi News Channel
(Popular)
Aaj Tak
Anu Ranjan and Bhagyashree to G. Krishnan (Aaj Tak)
Best English News Channel
(Popular)
CNN IBN
Shatrughan Sinha and Shashi Ranjan to CNN IBN team
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| GR8 GALA |
Best Fashion & Lifestyle
Channel (Popular)
Zoom Entertainment
Network
Shaleen Bhanot and Daljeet Kaur to Zoom rep
Best Singer (Jury)
Rang Badalti Odhani
Shankar Mahadevan
Ashiesh Roy and Romit Raj to rep
Best cookery show
Khana Khazana
Dheeraj Kumar to Sanjeev Kapoor
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The ITA Special Mention, 2010
Rajan Shahi…
He came from behind!
And then jockeyed ahead of the best in the business of
Television. Who would have thought that this one time a
nondescript odd-jobs-man would be ruling the roost one day.
His meteoric rise in TVdom is the stuff fantasies are made of!
With a Naana (maternal grandpa) like the first he-man of
Indian Cinema, the Dada Sahib Phalke Award winner, P. Jairaj,
Showbiz was a fait accompli for Rajan Shahi. But he started
from a scratch rather than reaping the harvest of his grandpa’s
goodwill for some big time launch for himself. Instead, he went
onto carrying errands in various technical departments and
production management, learning the ropes of the medium, in
the process.
And he went through hell!
kaam doh, free food doh and then, they have the gumption to ask
for conveyance, too!’ My hand went numb and I couldn’t take
another morsel!’
But you can’t keep talent down for long!
At last, Destiny smiled on Rajan with an opening that was to
change the course of his life. He chanced to join the celebrated
TV director, Ravi Rai as his handyman and that was when he
really got his bearings in the medium.
With his creative juices in full flow, he finally set out on his own.
The industry was more open to him this time and he started
getting breaks. In fact, he got a curious tag appended to him
– the ‘Serial Doctor’. And it became a routine for him to be called
for setting up a serial (Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin) or putting one back
on tracks when its TRP’s took a nosedive (Des Mein Niklla Hoga
Chand, Mili and so on)!
Finally, the time came for him to launch his own productionhouse and thus, Director’s Kut came into being. Destiny
smiled once again on Rajan in the form of Vivek Behl, heading
programming at Star Plus and he entrusted him with what
was going to be a milestone of its times in Television – ‘Bidaai’!
Close on its heels followed another one that was to re-write the
history of success post the ‘Kyunki…’ phase for Star Plus – ‘Yeh
Rishta Kya Kehlaata Hai’!
Rajan Shahi had arrived and was here to stay – period!
Still, the hard-boiled, hard-nosed industrywaalas took time
in accepting that. They just couldn’t be instantly comfortable
with a rags-to-riches story and found it difficult to swallow the
fact that someone who was at such a low rung once would be
rubbing shoulders with them!
Uday Shankar to Rajan Shahi
Those were the days of abject destitution for him and at times,
it was difficult even to make both ends meet! There were
lonesome moments of deep anguish, when he ruminated over
his lot in vacant & pensive moods. In one such moment he said
to himself, ‘Enough is enough!’ and packed off to Delhi where his
parents resided.
The promise called Rajan Shahi was all but aborted!
But destiny willed otherwise! To his great fortune, he had an
iron-willed father who instantly berated him, ‘Don’t you dare
unpack your bags here! Go back by the next train available and if
you ever again come back defeated, I will break your legs!’
That sealed if for him once and for all!
And he re-plunged himself headlong in the Battle Royale of
the Showbiz. It’s not that this time things got hunky-dory for
him in a jiffy. The survival continued to be as difficult and as
demeaning as ever. He recounts…
‘Once I joined a production-house, where I would be slogging
my guts off, day-in and day-out! One day, I mustered up some
courage and asked them for the 25 bucks of conveyance money
that everybody else was getting and they agreed to do so.
Later, when I was partaking of the unit lunch, the production
manager pointed towards me with sheer disdain – ‘In logon ko
50 | GR8! | december 2010
Says Rajan…
‘A huge cartel of producers and channels resented my success,
initially and I continued to get a shabby treatment at industry
events like being shoved to a seat in the 10th row. The big bosses
there wouldn’t even acknowledge my existence!’
But it couldn’t have gone on for long. Rajan Shahi was now a
name to reckon with and nobody could live in denial vis-à-vis
that anymore!
And this year, he got two feathers in his cap from The ITA!
First, ‘Bidaai’ was decorated with The ITA Milestone Award
and now, he was cited for The ITA special Mention as a
Creator of Shows that have connected with the viewers in a
humongous way!
And who else than Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India Pvt. Ltd. could
be more apt to present it to him. After all, Rajan’s Shows have
been such Channel drivers for Star! Giving away the trophy to
him, the big man said…
‘Nobody deserves it more than you, Rajan! Keep the glorious track
going!’
The biggest sign of an Achiever is that the lava of his
hunger keeps blazing inside him for more, more and still
more! And Rajan is an unparallel example of that. After
receiving his Award, he declared at The ITA stage…
‘It is the 3rd honour you have given me in the 3 years of
Director’s Kut’s existence… but tell you what – my lucky
number is 4…!’
Way to go, Rajan!
| GR8 GALA |
The ITA Special Mention, 2010
Andre Timmins, Sabbas Joseph &
Viraf Sarkari
(Wizcraft)
They have been the winners of The ITA Awards for the last
two years for IFFA, in the Best Television Event category.
While winning it the first time, they also called on the stage
their brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, present at the
Event to receive The ITA Laurel for Ultimate Excellence. And the
foursome made a perfect picture of signal achievement!
Trailblazers!
That’s a trio that has triggered some of the most innovative
ventures in the world of entertainment. To Television, they
have been the showmen, who brought it a rare razzle-dazzle
through the telecasts of those stunning events of theirs!
A disc jockey who went on to be the man behind some of
the A-list discotheques like ‘Rock Around the Clock’, ‘Aloha’,
‘Go Bananas’, ‘Fire & Ice’ and the biggest of ’em all, ‘Xanadu’…
a Xavierite with a Master’s degree in Political Science and
Journalism, who went on to be associated with country’s leading
publications… a night manager with Hotel Airport plaza, who got
on to bigger strides in the hospitality industry – and all of them
joined hands to form a path-breaking outfit, ‘Wizcraft’. That’s how
Andre Timmins, Sabbas Joseph and Viraf Sarkari combined their
lot together and set out onto realising their dreams and vision as
one cohesive force!
The year was 1988, when team Wizcraft took its first ambitious
steps towards creating brand Events with a touch of magic to
transport the audiences to an ethereal plane. Soon enough
they became a godsend for the entertainment industry with
their focused and turnkey solutions vis-à-vis brand strategy
and creative design for productions and programming.
Deepika Padukone and Kunal Kohli
to Sabbas Joseph Andre Timmins
This year, they have scaled more mileposts by way of
the stunning opening and closing ceremony of The
Commonwealth Games that they created with enviable and
exceptional ingenuity and aplomb.
Wizcraft’s stock-in-trade was 3-fold – Brand Activation, Special
Event Management and the Wizcraft Brands!
And their biggest masterstroke is the Kingdom of Dreams, an
out of the world auditorium with astounding lights, sound
and 3-dimensional arrangements.
By dint of the first specialty, it helped brands break through
the media clutter and go all guns blazing with multiple layers
of promotion.
Didn’t we say they are a godsend?
In the second, they created some of humongous
extravaganzas in the country, be it celebrating ‘50 Years of
Independence’ or holding an eye-popping pageant of mass
hysteria by way of the Michael Jackson Night in Mumbai.
And their third focus is simply legendary!
Who doesn’t know about the IFFA Awards? These have
provided a long-awaited window to the world for Indian
Cinema. And Television has benefited hugely by them
through telecasts attracting countless eyeballs!
Besides this colossal event, they also have the ‘F Awards’
that are a big boost to India’s Fashion industry. Today, we
have made global strides in Fashion designing and are a big
presence on Red Carpets all around the world.
‘F Awards’ are a big fillip to these carriers of Indian Culture all
across and are specially designed for Television!
TV has been Wizcraft’s chosen area of activity since its very
inception. Recently, they were entrusted with the reins of
Indian Idol and gave a sterling account of themselves in
mounting it to new levels of excellence.
In view of these achievements, the Academy decided to
bestow ‘The ITA Special Mention’ on them. Announcing the
Award, the Anchors, Manish Paul and Mantra put in most
aptly…
‘Recently, when the Commonwealth Games finished with the
world going gaga over its opening & closing ceremonies, three
men heaved a sigh of relief and relaxed after months of slog and
sweat… they were Andre Timmins, Sabbas Joseph &
Viraf Sarkari!’
The Award was presented by Deepika Padukone and Kunal
Kohli and they were humility incarnate, when they profusely
thanked The ITA and also expressed their pride at having been
chosen to design the Commonwealth Games ceremonies
and ending up designing them to the optimum delight of the
viewers!
As they walked down the stage with the glimmering glass
statuette in hand, they were greeted with a thunderous
applause that was a testimony to the fact that claim to fame
is not merely Stars’ prerogative – even men behind screen can
have it!
The wizards of Wizcraft have grabbed it – and how!
Shabaash!
- Vierendra Bhargav
GR8! | december 2010 |
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| GR8 GALA |
The ITA Special Mention, 2010
Andre Timnins, Sabbas Joseph & Viraf
Sarkari
became a godsend for the entertainment industry with
their focused and turnkey solutions vis-à-vis brand strategy
and creative design for productions and programming.
Trailblazers!
By dint of the first specialty, it helped brands break through
the media clutter and go all guns blazing with multiple
layers of promotion.
(Wizcraft)
That’s a trio that has triggered some of the most innovative
ventures in the world of entertainment. To Television, they
have been the showmen, who brought it a rare razzledazzle through the telecasts of those stunning events of
theirs!
Wizcraft’s stock-in-trade was 3-fold – Brand Activation,
Special Event Management and the Wizcraft Brands!
In the second, they created some of humongous
extravaganzas in the country, be it celebrating ‘50 Years
of Independence’ or holding an eye-popping pageant of
mass hysteria by way of the Michael
Jackson Night in Mumbai.
And their third focus is simply
legendary!
Who doesn’t know about the IFFA
Awards? These have provided
a long-awaited window to the
world for Indian Cinema. And
Television has benefited hugely by
them through telecasts attracting
countless eyeballs!
Besides this colossal event, they
also have the ‘F Awards’ that are a
big boost to India’s Fashion industry.
Today, we have made global strides
in Fashion designing and are a big
presence on Red Carpets all around
the world.
‘F Awards’ are a big fillip to these
carriers of Indian Culture all across
and are specially designed for
A disc jockey who went on to be the man
behind some of the A-list discotheques
like ‘Rock Around the Clock’, ‘Aloha’, ‘Go
Bananas’, ‘Fire & Ice’ and the biggest
of ’em all, ‘Xanadu’… a Xavierite with
a Master’s degree in Political Science
and Journalism, who went on to be
associated with country’s leading
publications… a night manager with
Hotel Airport plaza, who got on to bigger
strides in the hospitality industry – and
all of them joined hands to form a pathbreaking outfit, ‘Wizcraft’. That’s how
Andre Timmings, Sabbas Joseph and Viraf
Sarkari combined their lot together and
set out onto realising their dreams and
vision as one cohesive force!
The year was 1988, when team Wizcraft
took its first ambitious steps towards
creating brand Events with a touch of
magic to transport the audiences to
an ethereal plane. Soon enough they
52 | GR8! | december 2010
| GR8 GALA |
Television!
TV has been Wizcraft’s chosen area of activity since its very
inception. Recently, they were entrusted with the reins of
Indian Idol and gave a sterling account of themselves in
mounting it to new levels of excellence.
They have been the winners of The ITA Awards for the last
two years for IFFA, in the Best Television Event category.
While winning it the first time, they also called on the stage
their brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, present at
the Event to receive The ITA Laurel for Ultimate Excellence.
And the foursome made a perfect picture of signal
achievement!
This year, they have scaled more mileposts by way of
the stunning opening and closing ceremony of The
Commonwealth Games that they created with enviable
and exceptional ingenuity and aplomb.
And their biggest masterstroke is the Kingdom of Dreams,
an out of the world auditorium with astounding lights,
sound and 3-dimensional arrangements.
Didn’t we say they are a godsend?
In view of these achievements, the Academy decided to
bestow ‘The ITA Special Mention’ on them. Announcing the
Award, the Anchors, Manish Paul and Mantra put in most
aptly…
‘Recently, when the Commonwealth Games finished with the
world going gaga over its opening & closing ceremonies, three
men heaved a sigh of relief and relaxed after months of slog
and sweat… they were Andre Timnins, Sabbas Joseph & Viraf
Sarkari!’
The Award was presented by Deepika Padukone and
Kunal Kohli and they were humility incarnate, when they
profusely thanked The ITA and also expressed their pride
at having been chosen to design the Commonwealth
Games ceremonies and ending up designing them to the
optimum delight of the viewers!
As they walked down the stage with the glimmering glass
statuette in hand, they were greeted with a thunderous
applause that was a testimony to the fact that claim to
fame is not merely Stars’ prerogative – even men behind
screen can have it!
The wizards of Wizcraft have grabbed it – and how!
Shabaash!
- Vierendra Bhargav
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