Every film personality worth his salt in Bollywood and Tollywood has been bestowed with a top award from Kalakar Awards. From Shammi Kapoor to Jeetendra to Dharmendra, you name a star, and he has been at the receiving end of the Kalakar Awards that was instituted 23 years back by its founder, Ashok Kalanauria. But the Awards actually began in 1992-93 and are today recognized as one of the leading media award ceremonies of Eastern India. The awards are for excellence in every field of contribution in cinema, music and television.
In its 16th year of installation recently, cinema and music from Bangladesh have been brought within its parameters and many Bangladeshi actors, actresses and singers won awards this year.
However, the criteria for the awards seem to have undergone a sea change in recent years. One was intrigued to find the noted actress Bharati Devi of New Theatres' Productions, now 80 plus, sharing the Lifetime Achievement Award (Bengali cinema) with Bollywood's Randhir Kapoor.
ZEE Entertainment Network monopolised all the television awards — the Best Television News Channel, the Best Serial, the Best Television Actor, the Best Television Actress and the Best Television Compere (Aditya Narayan). Why? The rather lop-sided choice of Shiney Ahuja for Best Actor (Khoya Khoya Chand) along with Celina Jaitley for Best Actress (Shakalaka Boom Boom) was puzzling since not many have seen Celina's film at all, it having flopped at the box office.
Among other awardees were Adesh Srivastava and Mahendra Kapoor (Lifetime Achievement in Music), Zubin Garg (Best Music Album), Mani Ratnam (Best Director, Guru) while Anuranan won the Best Bengali film Award. Among winners of Tollygunge were Haranath Chakrabarty (Best Director, Tulkalam), Prosenjit (Best Actor, Bondhu) and Rituparna Sengupta (Best Actress, Anuranan.) Sadly, many recipients remained away from the award ceremony, which put a damper to the spirits of all the autograph hunters and crazy fans among the audience.