On February 1, 2008, Ekta Kapoor hosted the first Balaji Awards in Mumbai. The show was memorable for Shah Rukh Khan’s Chak de! Finale act with 10 TV girls that included Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’s original Tulsi, Smriti Irani, and her replacement, Gautami Gadgil. “The awards went off very well but the channel we had tied up with shut shop and we were grounded,” sighs Kapoor.
This year, on February 12, at Yashraj Studio, Mumbai, Kapoor will be back with the Global Indian Film and Television Honors (GIFTH) that will felicitate achievers in six categories — Popular, Technical, Programming, Achievement (for which there will be no nominations), Special Honors and Voters’ Choice, along with 30 sub-categories. The event will be telecast on Colors on February 27.
Sixty-five per cent of the awards will be for movies and the remaining 35 per cent for TV. “Besides the Apsara Awards, none of the others integrated film and TV even though satellite is the biggest market for our movies and its stars are the big draws on TV,” reasons the soap queen-turned-moviemaker.
Kapoor promises a line-up of interesting acts, with Bollywood’s Badshah bringing the curtains down again. “It was Shah Rukh who made the last awards unforgettable. We are re-launching, hoping for a bigger and better show this time, and for that we have to have SRK. He’s become synonymous with our awards,” she asserts.
The nominations are expected to be announced sometime this week. Kapoor insists that she’s clueless about whether her films Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai and Love Sex Aur Dhokha, or any of her TV shows, have made it to the top list. “I don’t know and I don’t want to know. I’ve been busy roping in presenters and performers. I have an independent jury to decide the awards without any kind of lobbying. I want them to be fair and unbiased, with the really talented and deserving going home happy,” she says, pointing out that at the earlier show, Balaji’s TV serials picked up only three awards.
However, despite her best intentions, award shows have invariably sparked off controversies. That draws a tongue-in-cheek retort: “Well, if it goes with the territory, why not?”