Posted: 24 February 2005 at 5:44pm | IP Logged
The Filmfare Awards are, unarguably, the most popular awards in the country. Most big stars plan their schedules and vacations around it. This year being their 50th anniversary, one expected the event to be bigger. And better.
Strangely, though, everything connected with the awards this year has spelled disaster.
It started with an incorrect nomination list. As the hitList reported on February 15, singer Udit Narayan was erroneously nominated for the Best Playback Singer award for Main Hoon Na, instead of Sonu Nigam.
There were other discrepancies as well. Akshay Kumar and Abhishek Bachchan were both nominated in two separate categories for the same role.
Kumar was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Comic categories for his role in Mujhse Shaadi Karoge, while Bachchan was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Villain categories for his performance in Yuva.
PAPA KEHTE HAIN: Rakesh Roshan
says son Hrithik will "be in China"
at the time of the Filmfare Awards
Filmfare was accused of favouritism and partiality. A new nomination list was duly announced in the Times of India, with Nigam being rightfully reinstated.
Filmfare then threw a party for the nominees on February 19. If the star turnout at this party is any indication, then it's time Filmfare did some serious damage control.
Most of the star nominees didn't make it to the event; Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, Hrithik Roshan, Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman put in a brief appearance.
The first signs that something was amiss appeared when all the big stars scheduled to perform at the show began cancelling. Amitabh Bachchan was to do a double act with Abhishek. Dharmendra was to do a skit. Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan were the other star performers to opt out.
But Shah Rukh Khan, Rani Mukherji, Priyanka Chopra and the Indian Idol gang will perform on stage.
Apparently, there were also money issues. Up until now, the big bucks for star performances came from Manikchand, the key sponsors. With the group's subsequent banishment, the budgets were slashed.
The Morani brothers, the managers of the event for the last few years, admitted that the Bachchans' and Dharamendra's acts were cancelled because of "creative reasons".
When we contacted the Big B for his version, he said, "Abhishek and I were never performing at the awards. Anyway, we hardly qualify." The reason? A mystery.
As for Hrithik Roshan, papa Roshan said he's "going to be in China" during the awards ceremony.
But Filmfare's woes don't end there. Normally, invitations for the big night are sent out a week in advance. This year, however, the awards are three days away and many stars are still to receive their summons.
"All this confusion is happening because the Filmfare staff is not involved this year," said an insider.
Shashi Baliga, the editor of Filmfare magazine, refused to comment.
As for A P Parigi, MD, Times Infotainment (360 Degrees, the coordinating agency for the awards is part of it), despite repeated attempts to contact him over the last two days, we were told by his office to wait
24 hours for his comment — which never came.