MUMBAI: Exhausted! Yet satisfied at a job well done aptly describes how the jury felt at the end of it all. Not surprising considering that the last six days were spent sifting through the record number of entries in competition for edition fourth of the Indian Telly Awards - the most coveted awards in television today.
Popular and technical awards categories were what the jury had to make their assessments on. Ending a week of sessions that sometimes went on till way past midnight, it was winding up time today with the marks for each entry tallied and entered in the records. The baton will now pass on to the public for the polling round, the dates for which will be announced in due course.
Just how arduous was the task before the jury can be gauged from the fact that this year close to 2,000 entries were competing in 93 categories (up from last year's 61), with an additional of 32 new awards introduced.
The juries for the three categories of awards were different. The Popular awards jury comprised eminent personalities from the industry: film maker Lekh Tandon, Tara Bangla chairman Rathikant Basu, Hum Tum director Kunal Kohli, cine and TV star Anju Mahendroo, TV personality and actor Kunika Sadanand Lall, India Today deputy editor Kaveree Bamzai, TV and film actor Bharati Achrekar, writer Rekha Nigam, TV and cine star Poonam Dhillon, film actress Padmini Kolhapure, ace documentary maker Rakesh Sharma and cine and TV actor Aanjjan Srivastav. The Technical awards were judged by ace cinematographer Dharam Gulati, TV editor and director Javed Sayyed and the young film editor Ashmith Kunder.
When quizzed about the quality of entries this year, Bamzai said, "Although there were a couple of startling innovations, the quality of programming overall was poor, which stands out too."
"Being on a jury allows one to have a perspective on programming as a whole," Bamzai said, describing the interactions among the jury as great and the judging experience as marvellous.
Sayyed, speaking about the technical awards said, "We have had a rigourous selection and filter process to see that only deserving entries are nominated and win. As a judge, I have seen that the Indian Telly Awards are the most authentic and transparent awards and there is no favouritism whatsoever. The television community needs to take advantage of this and should get encouraged to produce even better work to ensure that the judges have a tough time next year."
Kunder said, "Being part of the jury has been a satisfying experience. The effort of the organisers in putting together this mammoth event, with its expansive categories, is really commendable. However there is a scope in improving the quality of work we produce, as we lack neither in talent nor in infrastructure."
The Indian Telly Awards is the brainchild of Indian Television Dot Com founder and CEO Anil Wanvari and are divided into three main categories - Popular, Technical and Special.
Under the Popular awards, there are 60 categories that include six channel awards, 27 programming awards and 27 personality awards. Out of these, 34 categories will be adjudged by the jury and the rest will be done via online polling.
Falling under the Special awards category will be the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Big Idea Award (initiated this year). The Big Idea Award will be given to any marketing, advertising or technical idea that the jury finds exceptionally good.
Speaking about the entries received and the week-long judging, Indian Television Dot Com founder and CEO Anil Wanvari said, "There has been a humungous response from industry in terms of the number and the variety of programmes received. The entire process has been an englightening experience. It was a pleasure playing host to a most cooperative and hardworking jury which stayed on late into the night to ensure that they did justice to every entry. The feedback received from them is invaluable and will be incorporated as The Indian Telly Awards further evolve."