The 66th Vimal Elaichi Filmfare Awards 2021 were held on a muggy day in Mumbai. But no one minded the heat and humidity, as well as the mandatory antigen test at the venue –Film City, Mumbai. Because it was all about celebrating hope, celebrating victory, celebrating rebirth. The film industry had come to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic. Films weren’t getting shot, weren’t getting released. But our film industry folks are nothing if not survivors. They soaked in the pressure and waited for the storm to subside. And through shooting in safe destinations and releasing films on OTT, they managed to survive. And that resilient spirit was very much evident during the awards show. Presenting a bird’s eye view of the proceedings…
Irrfan Khan was our Lifetime Achievement Award winner this year and also won the Best Actor In A Leading Role (Male) for Angrezi Medium. The awards were given posthumously and were collected by his son Babil on his behalf. Babil came wearing an ensemble which belonged to his father, at the event. He became teary-eyed while collecting the trophies and the audience choked-up as well. It was an emotional moment for all. Babil wants to make a career in showbiz and commented that he wanted his father to teach him acting. But in his absence, he’ll learn it from his father’s colleagues. He vowed to carry forward his father’s glorious legacy and we wish him all the success in the world.
THAPPAD KI GOONJ
Thappad, produced by Anubhav Sinha and T Series, was the much-celebrated movie at the ceremony, and won a slew of popular as well as technical awards. Taapsee Pannu won the Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female) for the film and commented that while last year she won the Best Actress (Critics’), which she shared with Bhumi Pednekar for Saand Ki Aankh, she was glad that her popularity had soared within one year. She large-heartedly dedicated her award to all her colleagues who got nominated in her category, stating that each one was a woman of substance and excelled in their respective roles. And that this was a collective victory for women in the industry and women everywhere. She also said her director Anubhav Sinha had kind of predicted this victory at the start of the film and thanked him for making this thought-provoking film about women’s empowerment. Raghav Chaitanya won the Best Playback Singer (Male) for singing the soulful Ek tukda dhoop from the film. It was the first Bollywood outing for the internet sensation and the lad’s excitement was palpable. We’d like to thank Amaal Malik for driving all the way from his home in Andheri to present the award to his protégé.
Thappad also took home the Best Film trophy. While the stars get all the limelight, the people behind the marquee names remain largely unknown. Partnering with Cadbury, we decided to acknowledge the unacknowledged this year. As a part of the initiative, Anubhav Sinha’s and Bhushan Kumar’s support staff were called upon to the stage and both the producers dedicated their award to the silent heroes working with them. They were also given Cadbury hampers to further sweeten the memory. We also organised a red carpet activity where the support staff of various stars were put under the limelight and quizzed about the life they lead by Siddharth Kannan. He asked them fun questions about their association with stars and at the end gifted them Cadbury hampers.
The delight on their faces made our day. Tamannaah Bhatia, who arrived at the red carpet while her staff was being interviewed, joined in the proceedings and even shook a leg with all of them. That’s called team spirit, alright.
Singer Malobika Banerjee introduced her new song on the Filmfare stage. Malobika, whose rendition mesmerised the audience, said that she was glad she was attending Filmfare this year when the going has been bleak for the industry. She said our awards are sure to boost the morale of the industry in such trying times. Sweet words, indeed.
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