February 21, 2018, 10:52 pm IST
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NanOpinion*



NanOpinion*
And the Award goes to…

And the Award goes to…

Sushil Kumar, Jan 21, 2018

The Awards Season has begun. The awards which are straight on your face belong to the media & entertainment sector. There’s a race to be the first kid on the block even before the New Year sets in, to announce the 2017 Film Awards. More so, when these film awards are money spinning and TRP-generating content for TV channels. 

Over the years, awardees, audiences and the entire ecosystem propping up the awards culture knows that there is no credibility left. So much so, that the word “Award’’ has been degenerated to mean self-rewards. The awards event, as is evident to any layperson, is transactions-driven, not talent-centric.

If the ‘award-winners’ are willing to mark their attendance on that starry night, an award or honor is guaranteed. All they need to do is sit through the program, make the right faces, mouth the scripted dialogues—and lo behold, you are invited on stage. The sitting fees would have already been transferred into your bank account.

The influential among the award-winners see to it that the awards roster is also sanitized by them including the ‘naach-gaana-hasna-hasana’ segments. Phone-a-friend type of celebs who act like magnets to attract birds of the same feather are in great demand. Moreover, there will be artistes who will not tolerate the presence of a particular star, due to professional or personal reasons.

And, of course there is normally an attempt to squeeze a component which should leave the audiences teary-eyed, viz. remembering the departed, or the ones with depleting bodies and fading minds. In all this jamboree, the back-end engine consisting of cinema technicians, crew, dupes, orchestra continue to be consigned to the backstage all their life, bereft of accolades.

As long as you have a TRP-Quotient, everyone’s a winner. It’s an egalitarian world! The new award mantra is: "Celebratize, Hypnotize, Corporatize and Monetize". And here is where Mr Moneybags or the business sponsors chip in with their considered opinions. After all it is they who really run the show, because if there are no sponsors there is no show.

One of the most misused words in awards-speak is Icon. So we have Global Icon Awards, Style Icon Awards, Youth Icon Awards… So if the actor, or the director, or even the music composer has ‘face value’ but no contribution that year, he can be ‘adjusted’ in the Icon Category. By now everybody knows that ‘Icon’ stands for a con job. In any other profession, this would tantamount to deceit.

So don’t be surprised to see the emergence of innovative award categories:

  • Best Actor in Non-Dynasty Category
  • Bold Mollywood Hero to don a moustache-less Role
  • Rajnikanth Award for Actor with No Hairpiece & Transplant  
  • Ever-last Award for completing 14 years in film industry

Now that award events have become sponsor driven, time may not be far away when the corporate DNA of half-yearly results creeps into the Award shows. So we can have an Awards Night: H1-2018, and another in H2-2018, thereby democratizing the "honoring" process. More the merrier, as opportunity to honor will increase exponentially along with sponsorship options.

And for those talented artists who do not have sponsorship or star value, of course, the National Film Awards or State Awards will be around always. 

The scenario is grim even in the highly-acclaimed global Awards, where a different type of ‘setting’ is being done to satisfy the demands of color-identity, gender-equity, diversity… But once in a while, like was seen at the 75th Golden Globe Awards, there comes an Oprah, speaking of a “new day”, breaking through the “darkest nights”. Can we ever expect an authentic display of emotion or reason at an Indian awards event?

The murky story of Awards doesn’t get better even if we consider the non-filmy awards:  be it Padma or Arjuna or Dronacharya, Khel Ratna or even the coveted Bharat Ratna. That means opening another Pandora Box, which we will reserve for another time.  

“Roll sound. Roll camera. Action…‘And the Award goes to…”

NanoRhymes

Taxman: Oye-Oye  black sheep, aren't your Returns all bull

Bizman: No sir, no sir, it’s all truthful, only three banks full

B: One for my master, one for my wife and one for my dame who secretly lives in hinterland 

T: Don’t lie, don’t lie, what about hush-hush accounts in Switzerland

B: Oh sir, oh sir, I am faithful only to my dear motherland

T: Don’t blame me, man, if you get locked up in Tihar

B: Look taxman, my master can get you suspended, with his contacts in Bihar.

Sushil Kumar, Management Specialist, Former Dean, Amrita School of Business.  



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