8th edition of India’s most unique Film Awards held

Shabana Azmi accepts The Legend award from the journalists’ jury. Photo: BFJA

They are, simply, the most unique awards in cinema ever.

The brainchild of IIPM (Indian Institute of Planning & Management) guru, Dr. Arindam Chaudhari, it is about a decade back that he mooted the concept of non-commercial, open awards for excellence in cinema.

Here, eminent film journalists are given the categories to exercise their vote fearlessly, without vested interests like big names and production companies, event sponsors and so on. Clearly, such functions cannot be on a big scale, but the credibility has been constant and consistent. Those who poll the maximum votes, simply, are the winners and biases are ruled out because of the assortment of voters. In fact, the way the journalists have voted (that is, for whom) is openly seen on the company’s website! This also makes the awards transparent.

12th Fail, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani and Gangubai Kathiawadi swept the 2024 Power Brands Bollywood Film Journalists’ Awards (BFJA) held on March 15 at the Hotel Novotel. This Planman Motion Pictures-presented 8th BFJA ceremony was co-powered by Kamdhenu and partnered by Amulya Mica, Today Tea, Bright Outdoors, Planman Marcom, GIDF, IIPM & Daily Indian Media

The 12th Fail team won 5 Roaring Lions (the trophy) including for Best Film and Best Direction (both for Vidhu Vinod Chopra), while Rocky… took home 6 Roaring Lions including for Best Supporting Actor for Shabana Azmi. For the year 2022 (this year it was a biennial award), Gangubai Kathiawadi took home an incredible 11 Roaring Lions.

Animal and Jawan won in four and three categories respectively for 2023, while Brahmastra—Part One: Shiva won in four categories for 2022.

While accepting the standing ovation for the Legend of Bollywood award, Shabana Azmi (who completes 50 years in cinema this year as her debut film, Ankur, was released in 1974), repeated the same sentiments that Vidhu Vinod Chopra shared about winning his award— that it was a delight to finally see an award show where only film journalists vote, that too with votes visible transparently online on the philosophy of Open Ballot. In an audiovisual, Chopra said that this could be the future of awards in the country.

The jury this year consisted of noted film journalists and critics Jyothi Venkatesh, Chaitanya Padukone, Dr. Rajiv Vijayakar, Faridoon Shahryar, RJ Anurag Pandey, Ronak Kotecha, Shama Bhagat, Divya Solgama, Joginder Tuteja, Vishal Verma, Ram Kamal Mukherjee, Hemant Sanganee, Johnson Thomas, Kunal Mandekar, Narendra Gupta, Ashameera Aiyappan, Balaji Vittal and Dr. Ayanjit Sen  among others.

Of these, seven journalists and founding members of BFJA were specially awarded for their contribution to film journalism over decades. Jyothi Venkatesh was awarded the Power Brand Outstanding Achievement award, Chaitanya Padukone was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award for his four decades of exceptional journalism and Dr. Rajiv Vijayakar was given the Power Brand Most Impactful Film & Music Journalist award. Faridoon Shahryar won the Best NRI Bollywood Journalist, while Divya Solgama, Joginder Tuteja and Vishal Verma were bestowed the Power Brand Bollywood Journalist award.

Noted author and journalist Sahar Zaman took home the Roaring Lion for the Best Biographer of the year for her book, Talat Mehmood:The Definitive Biography—she happens to be the singer’s gramnddaughter. Ram Kamal Mukherjee was given the BFJA Special Mention award for winning the National Award for Ek Duaa.

The event also saw the launch of the Power Brand book, Boss Ladies by Shikha Ghosh, featuring Nandita Puri, Nivedita Saboo, Shailja Agarwal and Janhavi Sukhtankar among others, in the presence of Shabana Azmi.

“There are some BFJA Editor’s Choice Awards that will be given away for Standout Performances for 2022 & 2023,” said Dr. Arindam Chaudhuri, Founder of Planman Motion Pictures, the group behind BFJA. These Special Mention and Editor’s Choice awards were presented to Seema Pahwa, Divya Dutta, Malaika Arora, Esha Deol, Manjari Fadnnis, Manav Kaul, Madhurima Tuli, Abhimanyu Dasani, Tanisha Mukerji, Urvashi Rautela and Shama Sikander, while Ayesha Singh and Akanksha Ranjan Kapoor took home the Rising Star awards.

The team of Gadar 2 saw Anil Sharma taking the Most Impactful Director of the year award, Sham Kaushal taking the Most Impactful Action Scene of the year award and Utkarsh Sharma and Manish Wadhwa for their performances. Soumik Sen accepted the award for the Best Creative Director for the OTT series, Jubilee.

Alia Bhatt won the Best Actress award for both the years 2023 and 2022. Coincidentally, her birthday fell on March 15, the day of the awards’ presentation, and she could not make it. Photo: Universal Communications

List of Winners for 2023

  1. Best Film: 12th Fail (Producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra)
  2. Best Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra – 12th Fail
  3. Best Actor Male: Vikrant Massey – 12th Fail
  4. Best Actor Female: Alia Bhatt – Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani
  5. Best Supporting Actor Male: Vicky Kaushal – Dunki
  6. Best Supporting Actor Female: Shabana Azmi – Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani
  7. Best Music Director: Manan Bhardwaj, Pritam Chakraborty, Shreyas Puranik, Harshavardhan Rameshwar – Animal
  8. Best Background Score: Harshavardhan Rameshwar – Animal
  9. Best Cinematography: Satchith Paulose – Pathaan
  10. Best Story (Adapted): Anurag Pathak – 12th Fail
  11. Best Story (Original): Amit Rai – OMG2
  12. Best Production Design: Muthuraj – Jawan
  13. Best Singer Male: Bhupinder Babbal – Arjan vaillyAnimal
  14. Best Singer Frmale: Shilpa Rao – Besharam rang Pathaan
  15. Best Costume Design: Eka & Manish ­­– Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani
  16. Best Editing: Vidhu Vinod Chopra & Jashkunwar Kohli – 12th Fail
  17. Best Sound Design: Sankaran A.S., Tom Michael & K C Sidharthan – Animal
  18. Best Make Up & Hair: Gauran & Gulnaz – Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani
  19. Best Visual Effects: Red Chillies VFX – Jawan
  20. Best Animated Feature Film: Adipurush
  21. Best Short Film: Soul-Kadhi
  22. Best Documentary: Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri – The Vaccine War
  23. Best Debutante (Male): Agastya Nanda – The Archies
  24. Best Debutante (Female): Suhana Khan – The Archies
  25. Best Screenplay: Ishita Moitra, Shashank Khaitan & Sumit Roy – Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani
  26. Best Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya – Tere vaasteZara Hatke Zara Bachke
  27. Best Child Artiste: Aarush Verma – OMG2
  28. Best Web Series – Jubilee
  29. Best Action: Spiro Razatos, Anl Arasu, Craig Macrae, Yannick Ben, Kecha Khamphakdee & Sunil Rodrigues – Jawan
  30. Best Choreographer: Ganesh Acharya – What jhumkaRocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani
  31. Best Debutant Director: Yashowardhan Mishra – Kathal—A Jackfruit Mystery

List of Winners for 2022

  1. Best Film: Gangubai Kathiawadi, Sanjay Leela Bhansali
  2. Best Director: Sanjay Leela Bhansali – Gangubai Kathiawadi
  3. Best Actor Male: Hrithik Roshan – Vikram Vedha
  4. Best Actor Female: Alia Bhatt – Gangubai Kathiawadi
  5. Best Supporting Actor Male: Anil Kapoor – Jug Jugg Jeeyo
  6. Best Supporting Actor Female: Shefali Shah – Darlings (4 votes) / Jalsa (2 votes)
  7. Best Music Director: Pritam – Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva
  8. Best Background Score: Sagar Desai – Qala
  9. Best Cinematography: Sudeep Chatterjee – Gangubai Kathiawadi
  10. Best Story (Adapted): Gangubai Kathiawadi
  11. Best Story (Original): Parveez Sheikh, Jasmeet K Reen & Vijay Maurya – Darlings

12 Best Production Design: Subrata Chakraborty & Amit Ray –  Gangubai Kathiawadi

  1. Best Singer Male: Arijit Singh – KesariyaBrahmastra: Part One—Shiva (11 votes), Phir na aisi raat ayegiLaal Singh Chaddha (7 votes), Apna bana le (Bhediya) (1 vote), MuskurahatGangubai Kathiawadi (1 vote), Ami je tomar, Tandav & Mere dholnaBhool Bhulaiyaa 2 (1 vote)
  2. Best Singer Female: Shreya Ghoshal – Jab saiyyan Gangubai Kathiawadi
  3. Best Costume Design: Sheetal Sharma – Gangubai Kathaiwadi
  4. Best Editing: Sandeep Francis – Drishyam 2
  5. Best Sound Design: Bishwadeep Dipak Chatterjee – Brahmastra: Part 1— Shiva
  6. Best Make Up & Hair: Preetisheel Singh D’Souza – Gangubai Kathiawadi (5 votes), Bachchhan Paandey (1 vote)
  7. Best Visual Effects: DNEG Redefine – Brahmastra: Part 1—Shiva
  8. Best Animated Feature Film: Chhota Bheem Aur Registhan Ka Shahenshah
  9. Best Short Film: Masterji
  10. Best Documentary: Shaunak Sen – All That Breathes
  11. Best Debutante (Male): Shantanu Maheshwari – Gangubai Kathiawadi
  12. Best Debutante (Female): Manushi Chhillar – Samrat Prithiviraj
  13. Best Screenplay: Parveez Sheikh & Jasmeet K Reen – Darlings
  14. Best Lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya –KesariyaBrahmastra: Part 1—Shiva (6 votes), Ghode pe sawaarQala (1 vote), Tere hawaaleLaal Singh Chaddha (1 vote)
  15. Best Child Artiste: Ahmad Ibn Umar – Laal Singh Chaddha
  16. Best Web Series: Rocket Boys
  17. Best Action: Parvez Shaikh – Vikram Vedha
  18. Best Choreographer: Kruti Mahesh – DholidaGangubai Kathiawadi
  19. Best Debutant Director: Jasmeet K. Reen – Darlings


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