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And the award goes to...

As the award season kicks off, who are the likely frontrunners? Find out...

india Updated: Jan 11, 2006 19:38 IST

It'sthetime of year when popular awards functions dot the Hindi film industry calendar. Starting this week, various awards ceremonies will kick-start the annual jamboree of 'Thanks Ma, this is for you' Oscar like speeches. It will also be the time to celebrate films that fared well at the box office and gained critical acclaim. There will be predictable winners and unexpected losers yet all of Bollywood (though some sceptics like Aamir Khan, Ram Gopal Varma and Shaad Ali will stay away) will come together to raise a toast to the year gone by.

A cross section of industrywalllahs, most of whose work is likely to bear fruit at the awards, tell us what they think of the many functions and pick one performance they think deserves to be honoured this year.

Madhur Bhandarkar, director,Page 3
"Any award matters whether it's from the film fraternity, popular or social. It's the greatest achievement. I have already got the biggest award for Page 3 - the National Award. Yes I do think that winning a National Award does brighten ones chances of winning a popular award. The one performance I feel deserves to win is Amitabh Bachchan in Sarkar."

Ajay Devgan, actor,Main Aisa Hi Hoon/ Apaharan
"I hold the National Award in the highest regard. Amitji was just brilliant in Black and in Sarkar too. Prakash Jha's Apaharan deserves its due respect. Since such films are rarely made, they should be encouraged all the more."

Anees Bazmi, director, No Entry
"All I will say is Agar yeh awards imaandari se kiye jaayen, toh saare awards should go to No Entry because it's one of the finest comedies made this year. Believe me, I haven't had the chance to watch anybody else's films though I believe everybody in No Entry deserves to win."

Amol Palekar, director, Paheli
"Popular awards are like peppermint, sweet as long as they last, just chew on them till there is no more juice left. It can't be a proper meal. I don't really think much about them because they have their own strings to pull. As a filmmaker, there is no more dignified, prestigious and respectable recognition of one's work than a National Award. I can't tell you which performance I think deserves to win this year mainly because I haven't watched many films that are nominated this year. Does Shah Rukh Khan stand a chance to win for Paheli? Why not?"

Nagesh Kukunoor, director,Iqbal
"Awards are always looked forward to though I guess in the case of popular awards here, the general perception is that they are rigged. To me Filmfare, the oldest award has a lot of nostalgia value because when I was growing up I only knew about that award and always wanted to have one. I think Nana Patekar was brilliant in Apaharan."

Vidya Balan, actress, Parineeta
"I am not trying to sound profound but I feel my greatest award was Parineeta the film itself. Not every newcomer gets a solid role in her first film. But award, big or small is welcome. I'd vote for Saif Ali Khan's role in Parineeta."

Vipul Shah, director,Waqt
"I feel Rani Mukerji and Amitabh Bachchan in Black, and my wife Shefali's performance in Waqt deserve to be feted."

Sonu Nigam, singer, Bunty Aur Babli, Parineeta, Paheli etc
"What can I say about the awards but that when I needed them in the initial phase of my career, I never got them. Now I treat them like gifts. The song that I feel really needs to be honoured is Sunidhi Chauhan's Kaisi paheli hai... from Parineeta."

First Published: Jan 12, 2006 08:00 IST