It began as a simple, yet provocative comment about baseless award nominations from a twitter handle called twi fi awards. Within two days, former journalist Nikhil Taneja had over 1,000 followers and various celebrities from mainstream Bollywood supporting him including Mallika Sherawat, Onir, Anurag Kashyap, Gul Panag, Shreya Ghoshal, Vivek Agnihotri and Shweta Pandit among others. He has brought to life, the Twi_Fi_Awards (the Twitter Film Awards).
On Wednesday, the public voting for the jury came to an end. It now consists of 30 of the country's leading film critics including Mayank Shekhar, Aniruddha Guha, Rajeev Masand, Nandini Ramnath, Raja Sen, Minty Tejpal and Anupama Chopra among others. Another 1,000 votes were also cast to find the top 30 tweeple movie buffs. This group of 60 professionals and enthusiasts from the junta will pick the best of Bollywood in 2010.
Says Taneja, “The idea isn’t to be biased against any particular type of cinema, or to be prejudiced in favour of another. The aim is to give a platform to a movie that didn’t get as much visibility or was ignored because of lack of ‘star power.’ If we manage to do that, it’ll be an achievement for us!”
With the intent of saving the unassuming audience from being made to believe that films like Tees Maar Khan and directors like Sajid Khan are the best Bollywood has, Taneja began ranting on Twitter, never having expected it to snowball into this full-fledged revolution, that has the potential to turn into an actual event. “Some people have showed an interest in backing the event in a big way and we are figuring things out,” says Taneja, when asked whether an actual award function is expected.
A major part of the credit for making the Twi_Fi_Awards, what they have become, also goes to Somen Mishra, who runs the cult film blog called http://moifightclub.wordpress.com and Pavan Jha, a critic with BBC India. “While Somen got every film critic in the country on board, Pavan gave it tech support,” Taneja says.