Television

Asian Television Awards 2002 nominations open

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MUMBAI: The list of 119 nominations for seventh annual regional Asian Television Awards have been released.

More than 115 programmes and performances from 12 countries have been nominated for the awards. 1,300 entries including a record number of entries from Japan and China were received from 14 countries, states an official release. The participation this year is nine per cent higher than last year, it adds. The award function to be held in Singapore on 4 December 2002, will be aired live on leading television channels in 11 countries across the region.

The Indian nominations for the awards include four programmes by NDTV; Star News Hour for best news programme, Reality Bites: Mental Health in Kashmir and Witness for best current affairs programme and Sports Tonight for best sports programme . In addition, Lion of Gir by Miditech Ltd has been nominated for best natural history or wildlife programme and HardTalk Pakistan by Infotainment Television Pvt Limited for BBC World for the best talk show award. Popular game shows like Bournvita Quiz Contest on Zee TV, Khelo Number Khelo again on Zee TV and Kaun Banega Crorepati on Star Plus have been nominated for best game or quiz show. Also, Sonu Nigam has been nominated for best light entertainment presenter/ performer award.

"The number of entries for the Asian Television Awards has more than tripled in the past five years. The increased interest is a definite sign that Asian producers are more confident of the quality of their product and are more willing to pitch their creations against fellow producers in Asia," Asian Television Awards, chairman of judges, Jonathan Hallett is quoted as saying in the release.

The 29 Awards cover a wide range of genres, including drama series, comedy, tele- movie, current affairs, youth and sports. Two new categories 'Best Talk Show' and 'Best Original Song' have been added this year, to cater to the growing diversity of locally produced genres in the region, says the release. Interestingly, 61 entries have been received for the new categories.

Highlighting the trends observed this year, the release states that there was not only an increase in the number of interactive programmes entered but a marked rise in the number of documentaries put forward by broadcasters and production houses from across the region as well. Music and variety shows were also more lavish than in previous years, with many more high-budget contenders, it adds.

"Interestingly the range of topics addressed in many categories was also more controversial than in previous years, including issues such as homosexuality, mental illness, child abuse, domestic violence, and dealing with poverty in old age. This indicates a significant increase in Asian stations willingness to address and deal with sensitive topics in a variety of ways," says Hallett .

This year's entries were assessed by almost 50 judges from 11 countries sitting on seven juries held across the region.

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