Alpha Gaurav 2004 nomination night runs full house

MUMBAI: Star-struck! That must have been the common sentiment at the Alpha Gaurav 2004 Nomination Night, held Friday at Rangsharda in Bandra, Mumbai.

Running to a packed house, the ceremony had everybody who was anybody from Marathi television, cinema, theatre, music and advertising in attendance.

The fifth award ceremony will be held on 8 February 2004 at NSE complex, Goregaon, Mumbai.

It was punctuality with a capital P (a point worth noting considering how it has almost become a style statement for many of Indian award functions to start late). The show starting dot on time at Rangsharda's banquet hall and what's more, all the stars reached the venue on time. With the hall filled to capacity in no time, the passage seemed to overflow with celebrities.

Besides officially announcing the nominations for the different categories, the special contributors in the theater categories including Achyut Vaze, Pradeep Velankar, Hemu Adhikari, Premanand Gajvi, Pratima Kulkarni and Sachin Khedekar were felicitated at the event. In the music category, Ashok Patki, Devki Pandit and Chadrashekhar Gokhle were awarded with special prizes for their contribution to the Marathi music.

Attendees included the board of governors members Jabbar Patel, N Chandra, Kamlakar Sontake, Jayant Salgoankar and Dr Shrirang Adarkar, the jury members- director Kanchan Nayak, cinematographer Harish Joshi, novelist PL Mayekar, music director Ashok Patki and film critique Sudhir Nandgoakar.

That besides throng of film artists including Ashok Saraf, Yatin Karyekar, Dr Girish Oak, Ramesh Bhatkar, Reema Lagoo, Bharati Achrekar, Nina Kulkarni, Suhas Joshi, Mohan Joshi, Mrinal Kulkarni, Sharvani Pillai, Deepa Parab, Resham Tipnis, Nivedita Joshi-Saraf, Sachin Khedekar and Tushar Dalvi made their presence felt at the awards.

Food was aplenty and the atmosphere was jubilant but underneath all this one could feel a sense of despair. Although the Maharastra government is pumping in the moolah (Rs 1.5 million per film) to encourage the Marathi film industry to produce quality films, there seems to be just a handful of movies worth mentioning and that was reflected in the nominations. The often repeated titles included, Not only Mrs Raut, Shwas, Anahat, Tarunya Chya latewar and Yugpurush.

A point mentioned during the presentation was difficulty the Marathi movie industry was facing in attracting newer talents. In a bid to popularise Marathi cinema, Zee's Marathi entertainment arm has tied up with YB Chavan Pratishthan for a film festival. Starting 2 February, the five nominated films for Alpha Gaurav 2004 will be showcased at YB Chavan centre in Mumbai.

The five-day movie fest will conclude with the awards night on 8 February. This year, Alpha Gaurav has constituted 16 categories from the Marathi film industry, 10 categories from Marathi theatre and five categories from Marathi music industry. The Alpha Gaurav will also honour the winners from the state intercollegiate one act play "ekankika" competition. Besides that the award ceremony will also fete renowned personalities from film and theatre for the lifetime achievement awards.

The award ceremony will be telecast on the channel at a later date. Last year's awards telecast received a channel share of 22 per cent among all entertainment channels in the general entertainment category in Maharastra and over 80 per cent amongst the Marathi channels receiving 10.3 TVR. Channel officials seem confident of upping those figures this year. Wish the same could be said about the actual state of Marathi regional cinema.

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