TOIFA Awards re-launched with inaugural OTT edition

Siddharth Roy Kapur and Sivakumar Sundaram flank Shibashish Sarkar who holds the TOIFA Awards trophy at the press conference to announce the TOIFA OTT Awards 2023. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

The Times of India (BCCL), India’s leading publishing house, has announced the much-anticipated re-launch of the Times of India Film Awards (TOIFA) with the unveiling of its inaugural OTT edition. This distinguished iteration of TOIFA aims to honor exemplary talent in acting, content creation and technical prowess in Hindi films and series. The films and series eligible will have premiered on Indian online video streaming platforms from January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023.

Sivakumar Sundaram (CEO – Publishing) & executive-director of Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd. (BCCL), Siddharth Roy Kapur (founder, Roy Kapur Films) and Shibasish Sarkar (President of the Producers’ Guild of India) graced the press conference at Mumbai’s Grand Hyatt on June 28.

These members articulated their enthusiasm and endorsement for the rejuvenated TOIFA, underscoring its pivotal role in celebrating the dynamic evolution of Indian entertainment.

Sivakumar Sundaram said, “The Times of India Film Awards (“TOIFA”) has emerged as the definitive awards platform for the Indian film industry. This year, recognizing the increasing significance of streaming platforms, we are delighted to launch the TOIFA – Hindi OTT edition. Through a rigorous voting process in partnership with the Producers’ Guild of India, we will celebrate outstanding talent from across 28 different award categories on OTT.”

With an unwavering commitment to setting new standards and ensuring unparalleled credibility and industry recognition, the TOIFA Academy has been meticulously constituted in collaboration with the Producers’ Guild of India. This strategic alliance seeks to fortify the award’s prestige and reinforce its standing as the paragon of excellence in the Indian entertainment industry.

Shibasish Sarkar, President, Producers’ Guild of India also shared, “We are delighted to partner with the TOIFA OTT Awards and are confident that they will provide credible and prestigious recognition for outstanding work in the streaming space. Especially so, as the jury/academy comprising Producers’ Guild of India members will be voting on the various award categories.”

The vision behind the revamped TOIFA Awards is to create credible accolades that cover the entire span of the Indian entertainment industry. It aims to provide a platform that brings out the best work in the field of entertainment, ensuring that outstanding contributions across all facets are recognized and celebrated.

The TOIFA Awards is being mentored by an Advisory Council comprising of industry stalwarts like Rajkumar Hirani, Shoojit Sircar, Sameer Nair, Siddharth Roy Kapur, Nikkhil Advani, Aanand L. Rai, Guneet Monga Kapoor, Raveena Tandon Thadani and Madhureeta Mukherjee. The nomination and voting processes will be audited by Ernst & Young, whose representative, Ashish Pherwani, was also present.

Siddharth Roy Kapur stated, “I am pleased to join the Advisory Council of the TOIFA OTT Awards. I have been most impressed by the commitment of the organizers to create a credible and respected platform that will recognize excellence in streaming. This aligns perfectly with our shared goal of celebrating exceptional talent across all creative and technical disciplines in the industry.”

Ultimately, content is all about audiences, and the TOIFA OTT Awards are committed to inclusivity. To ensure consumers have a voice, the TOIFA OTT edition has introduced People’s Choice Voting Awards in four popular categories.

– Male Actor – Web Film

– Female Actor – Web Film

– Male Actor – Web Series

– Female Actor – Web Series

Audiences can vote for their favorites by logging onto

The event also saw the unveiling of the TOIFA OTT trophy, a symbol of distinction and excellence. The grand TOIFA Awards ceremony is slated in the last week of July 2024 in Mumbai. The TOIFA OTT Edition 2023 is presented by KRasa, Co-Powered by Goldiee Masale & KPT Pipes in association with Usha Kakade Productions & Amanté!

This writer asked why media members should also not be partly included in the Jury as there has been the Power Brand Awards for the last eight years that are chosen with transparent voting by only media members and also there is a history of a very prestigious Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Awards (which had been active for decades). Besides, every film or series is essentially made for the audience and that also includes the media. Sundaram only replied that a certain “familiarity with the domain” was needed.

Kapur stated that there was a high credibility factor with the TOIFA Awards and it was the answer to the widespread general cynicism of awards that had considerations other than merit. “This is the largest jury possible, with over 170 members of the Academy,” he reiterated at least twice during the event. “We are following the way the Academy Awards are presented.”

The TOIFA – OTT edition will inaugurate several avant-garde categories to mirror the transformative shifts in content consumption.

Other Key Award Categories are as follows:

Technical Awards:

– Excellence in Background Score

– Excellence in Costume Design

– Excellence in Casting Ensemble: Web Series

– Excellence in Cinematography

– Excellence in Visual Effects

– Excellence in Writing

– Excellence in Editing

Web Series:

– Acting Excellence (Female)

– Acting Excellence (Male)

– Acting Excellence in a Supporting Role (Female)

– Acting Excellence in a Supporting Role (Male)

– Acting Excellence in a Negative Role

– Acting Excellence in a Comedy Role

– Comedy Series of the Year

– Crime/Thriller/Horror Series of the Year

– Drama Series of the Year

– Reality Show of the Year

– Debut of the Year

– Showrunner for OTT Series

Web Films:

– Acting Excellence (Female)

– Acting Excellence (Male)

– Acting Excellence in a Supporting Role (Female)

– Acting Excellence in a Supporting Role (Male)

– Acting Excellence in a Negative Role

– Acting Excellence in a Comedy Role

– Film of the Year

– Debut of the Year

– Director Award for Film



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