Filmfare awarding Raazi, Badhaai Ho is conflict of interest; will excluding in-house movies improve award show's credibility?
In future, the ideal way for the organisers of Filmfare Awards would be to ensure that films made by their sister concern do not compete in the award function.
The winners of the 64th Filmfare Awards 2019 were announced on Sunday and just like the previous years, this year too it toed a similar line. Stars of the future were amply rewarded and superstars graced their presence through their performances. But amidst everything, one conspicuous thing which one couldn't help but scrutinise was the fact that out of a total of 27 awards (excluding the short film category), nine of them were bagged by Junglee Pictures, a production house that also happens to be a sister concern of the company that owns Filmfare and organises the Filmfare Awards.
In another world, this would have been dubbed as a classic case of nepotism. Raazi and Badhaai Ho — two films from the Junglee Pictures stable — were in contention for top honours at the 2019 Filmfare Awards. While Raazi sweeped the Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor Popular – Female, Best Playback Singer – Male and and Best Lyrics category, Badhaai Ho managed to garner four awards in the category of Best Dialogues, Best Actor Critics – Female, Best Supporting Actor – Male and Best Supporting Actor – Female.
No one here is casting aspersions on the capabilities of the talents who won awards in said categories but when the films concerned is produced by the parent company themselves, it's a cause for concern. It comes as an absolute shocker when one is informed that just few days before the Filmfare Awards, Zee Cine Awards were scheduled and neither Raazi nor Badhaai Ho managed to lay their hands upon a single trophy. While the present day credibility of award shows leaves a lot to be desired, such acts do nothing except lower the prestige and respect of award functions further. It’s a different matter altogether that on close introspection, one can easily deduce that out of the nine awards categories, almost five had clear cut deserving winners which were superseded either by Raazi or Badhaai Ho. But that calls for a different debate altogether. It’s no rocket science to deduce that the production house will leave no stone unturned for its upcoming venture Junglee (which is currently hogging all the limelight in the company owned newspapers these days) to ensure that it sneak its way through in the nominations for next year and, who knows, it might just turn out to be the eventual winner in some category.
It would be fair to conclude that the proverb ‘charity begins at home’ finds no mention in the lexicon of film industry folks. If only the parent company would have made some communique of non-participation of Junglee Pictures’ productions at Filmfare Awards, it would have certainly given some credibility to dying award functions in general.
Awards functions these days have become more of a TV function and the actual prestige associated with the awards have now taken a backseat. It’s a common knowledge now that these days, awards are reserved only for those who manage to squeeze time from their schedule to attend the three-hour jamboree where few parrot their lines from the teleprompter while others go for a medley, and in lieu, manage to pocket crores — all for few hours. Award functions these days are remembered more for the tomfoolery acts that stars indulge in with fellow stars on the stage and not for the celebration of individual’s performances. The abyss which they have reached can be gauged from the fact in 2016, the award for Best Debut Actor – Male was given to Sooraj Pancholi for his performance in Hero (a film which had Salman Khan controlling the reigns), while Vicky Kaushal who had just started his career by delivering a stellar performance in Masaan (a film that epitomised the Indian indie film) was not even fancied a nomination. It’s a different matter altogether that today in the lexicon of Filmfare,Vicky Kaushal is a certified star.
The desi award function should take a leaf from the West. The broadcast rights for the Oscar telecast for years hasve always been bagged by the ABC Network, a Disney subsidiary, and thus over the years the network has developed some sort of clout too. But when it comes to the awards, the sanctity has always been maintained and they have always been considered sacrosanct. A shining example happened last year when after much uproar, the Oscar committee had to revoke their decision of introducing a popular film category — a new category whereby they had plans of honouring a film which had earned maximum moolah at the box office. It was said that it was more of a ploy to honour and give award to films of the Disney-owned Marvel Studios, which has often been ignored by the Academy Awards. But no such luck here when it comes to participation of in-house films at the award function.
In future, the ideal way for the organisers of Filmfare Awards would be to ensure that films made by their sister concern do not compete in the award function. The credibility of awards has plummeted to a point of no return and this is the least the organisers can do.
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