Do nominations and awards in Bollywood define one’s talent? Onir, Shreyas Talpade, Tamannaah Bhatia and others react, share their experiences
The ongoing debates around nepotism, insiders vs outsiders, lobby system and toxic star culture in the film industry continue to gain momentum with every passing day. While many actors have spoken up against such unfair practices, award functions, too, have come under the scanner with actors calling out the bias that exist there.
Last month, actor Abhay Deol, in an Instagram post, slammed award functions in Bollywood and revealed how he and Farhan Akhtar were “demoted to supporting actors” for Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. “...There are many covert and overt ways in which people in the industry lobby against you. This was shamelessly overt...,” he wrote.+ +
Filmmaker Onir also shared about his experience and wondered why Juhi Chawla was nominated as the “best supporting actor for My Brother Nikhil in 2006 and not the lead. “...The way they function is often ridiculous,” he tweeted.
So, is it that there’s no fair play when it comes to these award functions? And is it all about star power that rules?
Onir tells us, “When My Brother Nikhil released, it really great reviews, but no nominations. Only Juhi got a nomination because she’s fairly popular. There was no nomination for me for debut director or Sanjay Suri for the lead actor or Purab Kohli in a supporting role.”
Even after his film I Am received two National Awards, Onir admits he didn’t have work for six years. “So, from getting opportunities to getting awards, everything here works around favouritism and camps,” he adds.
Similar things happened with films such as Dil Chahta Hai (2001) where Saif Ali Khan and Akshaye Khanna got supporting actors nominations, and Veere Di Wedding (2018) where Swara Bhasker and Shikha Talsania were nominated in the supporting case category. This was irrespective of the fact that all the lead actors in the film had equal screen time and the plot revolved around them, but nominations were based upon popularity quotient.
Recently, actor Akshaye Khanna, too took to Twitter and expressed that he is happy with the response his movie Section 375 got, “Though I did not get any award but who cares audience liked it; that’s enough!”
Actor Annu Kapoor says that half of the major awards by the government or privately sponsored are “politically or commercially motivated and certainly not always on merit”.
Shreyas Talpade, who has hosted many award shows, shares that he has stopped expecting getting one for himself. “There was time when we took awards seriously, then came a time when things became so blatant on the face that we’re like it doesn’t matter much may be. For me, the audience reaction and box office results are best awards,” he says.
Actor Raveena Tandon echoes the sentiment when she says, “Let’s be honest that award shows these days are nothing but glamourised shows business and nothing else.”
Actor Tamannaah Bhatia, though she has been nominated several times, she has earned only a few awards. “With time, I’ve realised that it doesn’t change the kind of performer you are or stops fans from supporting you. If my process of making films is satisfactory, if my films are doing well, nothing else matters,” she says.
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