FPGI's film & TV awards to be held on 29 May

MUMBAI: When it comes to Bollywood there is no shortage of award shows. Whether it is Star, Zee or Sony every Tom, Dick and Harry has gotten onto the bandwagon. The latest party to do so is the Film Producers Guild of India (FPGI). On the occasion of its 50th anniversary FPGI announced the Apsara Awards.

What is unique though is that it will celebrate both film and television. There are eleven categories celebrating television including actor, actress, ensemble, drama series, comedy series, sports show, news anchor and the lifetime achievement award. Of course it was three years ago that Indian Television Dot Com took the initiative in honouring the people who toil in the television industry by hosting the Indian Telly Awards.

Coming back to the Apsara Awards, the event will take place on 29 May at the Grand Hyatt. The nominations will be announced at a gala event on 5 May. The evening saw a large congregation of producers from the entertainment industry. The trophy was unveiled by the two senior most members of the guild, BR Chopra and Ramanand Sagar.

The FPGI will be soliciting entries from the various parties from 5 April. There are four committees. UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvalla will be chairing the 12 member television jury. Twenty entries will be short listed. These will then be whittled down to five in each category. The winners will be voted by the cast of a ballot by all the members of the Guild (153) and not by a viewer's choice poll. A total of 36 categories, including 24 from cinema and 12 from television (fiction and non-fiction both), will be honoured at the finale.

Speaking on the occasion Screwvalla said that if Indian television had grown rapidly in the past decade it was because of the cross learnings that had taken place in the film industry over the past decade.

FPGI president Amit Khanna said that the awards would carry greater weight and have more credibility as the categories would be voted upon by the 153 Guild members. In addition Price Waterhouse Coopers which audits the Academy Awards will also perform the same function for the Apsara Awards.

Khanna said, "We felt that there was a dire need for experts from within the film and television industry to honour and recognise their peers. Every aspect of film and television making has to be understood thoroughly in order to determine brilliance. It is the people that work at making these products that are in the best position to do so."

Reliance is the sponsor of the event. Reliance Infocomm's Kaushik Roy said that being associated with the entertainment industry had several advantages. "Firstly it is safer than a Sehwag. You never know when he might fail with the bat. It also allows us to conduct loyalty and reward programmes for our customers. We can have them meet the stars. When we roll out broadband and netway through our set top boxes the FPGI will have another mechanism to reach the film buff. Another innovation we could look at is the People's Apsara Choice. Here fans could vote through their mobiles on whom they feel deserves to go home with the trophy."

Speaking to filmmaker Ashutosh Gowarikar said, "The more award shows the merrier. I don't think that too many award shows reduces the merit of getting one. I also don't think that the jury is ever right or wrong in picking the winners as all decisions are subjective in nature. To judge the credibility of a show it takes about five years. After that period you can assess the nominees over the years and who won."

Cinevistaas chairman Prem Kishen said that recognising animation in the television category was a step in the right direction. "Of course there is no greater feather in the cap than being recognised by people you work with and admire."

What nominees will be vying for is a 22 karat gold plated trophy which has been designed by Tanishq. Several things including the angle Apsara who was characterised by grace, movement and poise inspired the design. Also the Ajanta and Ellora caves formed the basis of inspiration for the etchings on the inside of the trophy.

The awards are being managed by Hungama Events - a division of

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