Judging rounds for 6th Indian Telly Awards completed

MUMBAI: Honouring the best in television is what defines the Indian Telly awards. As the awards enter its sixth edition this year, it continues to evolve with the television industry. And this year the awards get even bigger.

New categories have been introduced this year in the technical category, which means more recognition and honour for people who are considered as the unsung heroes of television.

And for the awards this year, the jury members have already given their verdict on who is the best in each category. You will have to wait with bated breath to know which of your favourite star, favorite dialogue writer or your favorite programme have won accolades from the jurors.

Cinematographer Dharam Gulati watching the nominations
The jury meetings of the programming and technical categories of the awards concluded on 22 September. It spanned over a week's time with the members comprising of who's who of television industry, right from directors, actors, cinematographers, editors to animation specialist.

The jury for the programming awards category included distinguished names from the industry like Gitanjali Rao, Ishan Trivedi, Nitish Bhardwaj, Priya Singh Paul, RD Tailang, Rakesh Sarang, Rathikant Basu, Rakesh Sharma, Rekha Nigam, Reena Wadhwa, Sarita Tanwar and Vinod Ranganathan.

Some of the jury members of the Indian Telly Awards 2006
Whereas, the jury for the Technical Awards consisted of Animation specialist Yunus Bukhari, Film Editor Ashmit Kunder and Cinematographer Dharam Gulati.

The awards this year has been classified into six broad categories:

Comprising 4 categories

Comprising 22 categories
Comprising 10 categories
Comprising 17 categories
Comprising 25 categories
Comprising 5 categories

With the television industry witnessing a rapid growth as a medium of information and entertainment, the jurors have evoked a mixed feeling about the content and quality of the program shown on television.

Jury members watch the nominations
Scriptwriter RD Tailang, who has written game shows like KBC and Khul Ja Sim Sim and was one of the jury members, feels that the standard of programming and content in Indian television has undergone a drastic transformation. "I have judged about ten categories for the Indian telly awards and I think that awareness coupled with exposure has taken the Indian TV industry to a higher platform. I have judged Emmys and I feel that our programmes are way ahead as compared to theirs. And honouring the best among them is a great step taken by," said Tailang.

Writer Director Ishaan Trivedi, who judged the nominations for non-fiction shows on news channels, echoes Tailang's views. He says, "News Channels are doing a good job, with indepth reporting. There were some programs which are for the common people, and for the viewers."

He added, "There are only two award functions honouring thepeople working in the television industry and the Indian telly award is doing a commendable job in this arena. A special mention goes to Anil Wanvari, who is making these awards as the Emmys of India."

Director Rakesh Narang in a pensive mood
Whereas director Rakesh Sarang says, "There are so many things happening in the Television industry. News channels are also diversifying. With innovative ideas and concepts being worked upon, competition has definitely increased, but competition of this kind always yields better results."

But at the same time he seemed disappointed with the content and quality of fiction shows, despite the fact that he has directed serials like Aashirwad. He says,"The storyline along with direction and technical inputs is the same. There is no difference in the treatment. There should be more innovation in terms of content."

Its not only Rakesh Sarang, also the jury members judging the technical categories have been disappointed with the quality and content of programming in television. They feel that there has been a gradual decline in the quality of programs being made, which can either be attributed to the growing competition or the lack of creative ideas.

Let's take a break! Jury members having lunch
"Focus of the program aired on various channels has seen a paradigm shift. The technicians have lost their creativity. Editors are no more editors, they are simply machine editors, the directors are not serious about their work," said Cinematographer Dharam Gulati.
Gulati however pins his hopes on the churning happening on the television front with more channels planning their entry.
Ashmith Kunder, who is a film editor added, "India has a lot of talent. And technical improvisation is the need of the hour besides the content."

"People have experimented with new concepts and have been successful. It's not what people want, it's about giving them what they require," asserted Kunder.

Animation specialist Yunus Bukhari in the process of judging
Yunus Bukhari, who is an animation expert lauded the effort that Indian animators are taking into promoting the animation industry, but says Indian animation industry is at a nascent stage and has a long way to go."Animation is a 60 billion dollar market with India contributing only 3-5 percent. The industry not only requires seriousness from the aspirants but government should also take concrete steps to promote the industry and regulate software piracy," said Bukhari.

He further added,"Entertainment channels and production houses are not justifying the content that goes on air. If you look at most of the programs on air, the storyline is the same, technical improvisation has been nil and animation is way behind."

Despite their critical views, the jury members applauded the Indian Telly Awards for its initiative to honour people in the industry.'s founder Anil Wanvari at work
The brainchild of's founder Anil Wanvari, the awards was envisioned in 2001 to honour people in the television industry and since then has grown with more categories and more people receiving the awards. What started as awards for select performances has moved ahead and now covers almost every category in television. Winners are decided through a process wherein several jurors go through the nominations and give their verdict on the most deserving candidate.

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