Apsara FPGI Awards finale on 29 May

MUMBAI: The first Apsara Film Producers Guild Awards, FPGI, will announce its winners on Saturday, 29 May 2004.

Auditors Pricewaterhouse Coopers, who have audited the prestigious Oscars for the past 68 years, has taken off to a good start by receiving responses from both the film and TV industry alike.

The first round of short listing the entries is underway. The screenings of the entries will commence shortly and the nominations are slated to be announced on 6 May 2004 at a ceremony in Mumbai, confirms a press release.

The Film Producers Guild of India has set up a separate Apsara Awards Desk. The 50-year old guild with over 160 members, constituting the powerful and influencing luminaries in its sector ensures credibility and transparency of the awards.

Secretary general of the Guild Supran Sen says, "The seriousness and commitment of the Guild was expressed by the support given by the entire industry. It was a touching moment to see great film makers like Ramanand Sagar, B.R. Chopra, Subhash Ghai and even the younger generation like Karan and Rohan amongst them all."

The personalities constituting the selection committee for the Apsara FPGI Awards includes the director of the awards, Ramesh Sippy, the president of FPGI, Amit Khanna and the chairman of the jury across each of the 4 categories -- Shekhar Kapur for the film awards, Govind Nihalani, for the technical awards, Ronnie Screwvala for the television awards and Yash Chopra, who along with Amit Khanna, would head the special award category.

Film Producers Guild of India president Amit Khanna says, "It is indeed a distinguished honour for artists to be recognized by their own peers through awards that are credible, transparent, objective and completely unbiased, which has been the prime objective behind instituting the first Apsara Film Producers Guild Awards. We shall be leaving no stone unturned to ensure that through these awards we establish a standard that parallels the world's best."

Guild member Subhas Ghai says, "Indian entertainment is scaling new heights. It's time to honour talent and who better than industry stalwarts to do it. The Apsara will don an extremely prominent mantle in every winner's life as this is an award that truly recognises achievement."

On the other hand, TV Awards Committee chairman and Guild member Ronnie Screwvala says, "Film and television together is the all encompassing future of the Indian entertainment industry. This first step in that direction is going to pave the way for enriching and motivating more quality products for the Indian viewers."

A special rule booklet has been published by the Guild outlining the format and the eligibility criteria. All films and television programmes released between 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004 are eligible for the awards, says the release.

The winners will be voted by the cast of a ballot by all the 160 members of the Guild and not by a viewers' choice poll. Members including Aamir Khan, Shyam Benegal, Amitabh Bachchan, Ashutosh Gowarikar and Kamal Barjatiya, will be participating in the voting process.

A total of 36 categories, including 23 from cinema and 13 from television, both fiction and non-fiction, will be honoured at the grand finale.

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