Indian Telly Awards first round of judging completed

MUMBAI: The first of the juries to decide the 63 programming, technical and trade categories of The Indian Telly Awards 2003 finished their deliberations late this evening in Mumbai. In their third year, The Indian Tellies, instituted by Anil Wanvari the founder of, seek to reward excellence in Indian television.

After a hectic schedule of three days, the jury comprising Lekh Tandon, Rakesh Sharma, Shailaja Bajpai, Vanita Kohli-Khandekar, Sabira Merchant, Rathikant Basu, Shanta Gokhale and Kiran Juneja, finished shortlisting five nominees for all the 20 Popular Awards categories. They viewed showreels and episodes covering more than 400 entries before zooming in on the Top Five in each category.

The consensus at the end of it all was: 'The Indian Telly Awards are the most credible and transparent awards in the country today.'

"We have been very objective while deciding the nominees for all the categories. It has been a Herculean task because there were a lot of entries for each category," said Sharma when asked about his experience as a member of the jury. "By the way things are going, I'm sure that a couple of years down the line, The Indian Telly Awards will be the top most awards for the television industry in our country," he added.

Promoter of Broadcast Worldwide Pvt Ltd Rathikant Basu expressed his opinion on the awards by saying, "I have been on a lot of other juries prior to this but most places there are nominees and winners are pre decided and a jury is just a formality. But I can tell you that The Indian Telly Awards are probably one of the most transparent and honest awards in our country."

Actress Kiran Joneja said, "The categories have been increased this year but there is still some scope for improvisation. Some categories can be broadened so as to give equal and fair opportunities to everyone."

Veteran director Lekh Tandon said, "The team behind the Telly Awards is very hardworking and diligent. The awards give due recognition to the people in the television industry and are unbiased."

"Today there are so many award functions for the Indian film industry but there are hardly any awards for the television industry. The Indian Telly Awards has really grown from the time of its conception three years back and I can only see it going further," said Businessworld magazine's senior editor- Media Vanita Kohli-Khandekar.

At the end of the three days, the jury members were very satisfied with the way things had turned out. Although there were times when they did not reach a unanimous decision at first go, but after some critical analysis and discussions a consensus was finally reached.

The second round of judging through another jury is slated to commence on 15 September and will continue over two days in Mumbai. The jury will decide on whose work is good enough to figure amongst the nominees for the technical awards categories.

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