On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Film Producers Guild of India (FPGI), Amit Khanna, president, FPGI, announced at a press conference in Mumbai on April 5, 2004, that the body was instituting the Apsara Awards to recognize excellence in cinema and television. The Awards will be given away on May 29, in Mumbai.
Considering the surfeit of ceremonies celebrating the best in the entertainment sector, Khanna maintains that the FPGI's latest initiative is unlike other awards, as in this instance, recognition will come from peers within the industry. "The 160 members of the Guild contribute 70 per cent of the revenues generated in the film and television sector," he says. The Guild's pedigree can be ascertained by the fact that membership to the body is by invitation alone. Presently, some of the best names in cinema and television - including filmmakers such as Farhan Akhtar, Ashutosh Gowariker, Aamir Khan and Karan Johar, as well as Kunal Dasgupta, CEO, Sony Entertainment Television India, and Ronnie Screwvala, CEO, UTV - are members of the Guild.
Apsara Award winners will be selected on the basis of a secret ballot cast by Guild members, and not by a viewer poll. Entries will be solicited for a total of 36 categories, which include 24 categories in cinema and 12 in television. The entries will be judged on the basis of overall content, quality, cinematic brilliance and individual merit. Winners will be felicitated with a 22-karat gold-plated trophy that has been designed by Tanishq.
To ensure complete transparency and credibility, four committees - one each for the film awards, television awards, technical awards and the Special Award - have been constituted. Heading the four committees are industry stalwarts such as Shekhar Kapur (films), Ronnie Screwvala (television), Govind Nihalani (technical) and Yash Chopra along with Amit Khanna (Special Award). The main sponsor of the event is Reliance Infocomm, while the event is being audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Explaining the rationale behind Reliance Infocomm's association with the Apsara Awards, Kaushik Roy, head, marketing communications, Reliance Infocomm, says, "Technology has to be demonstrated with the help of content that is entertaining. We are in the business of broadband and netway, and see a close association with the entertainment industry."
Apart from the Apsara Awards, the FPGI intends conducting health camps for cine workers in the country, and has plans of releasing a documentary on the film and television industry in the coming months. The body is negotiating four co-production treaties with Canada, Italy, Britain and Australia, and is in talks with the Pakistan Board for Film and Culture as well. © 2004 agencyfaqs!