A new dawn

The 1st Prabhat Awards saw the Marathi film industry come together to celebrate the life of Marathi film industry’s doyen. The Punekar tells you more.

Indian cinema recently completed 100 years. It is therefore apt that Prabhat, a known name in the Indian film industry and pioneer production house, conducted the Prabhat Awards.

The first edition of the Prabhat Awards were held in Pune on June 1 at MIT College’s Swami Vivekanand Hall and saw a host of new and old names from the Marathi film industry in attendance. Sachin Pilgaonkar, Kiran Shantaram, Asha Kale, Ramdas Phutane, Abhijeet Gholap, Aditya Sarpotdar, Ankush Chowdhary, Dr Jabbar Patel, Smita Talwalkar, Rutuja Deshmukh, Sunil Sukhtankar, Sumitra Bhave, Devika Daftardar, Suman Kirloskar, among others were seen enjoying the event.

The awards were not just given in the competing category but also for lifetime achievement, film writing, research and other oft-ignored categories. Organised by the Damle Family, as Vishnupant Damle was one of the founding fathers of the film production company, the event is a landmark in the Marathi film industry’s history.

Pushkar Shrotri, Anand Ingle, Vaibhav Mangale, Hemant Dhome, Vijay Patwardhan, Digambar Naik, Saurabh Gokhale, Sunil Barve, Mrunmayee Deshpande and Makarand Anaspure were some big names hosting the show and carrying it forward. The interesting part of the function was it was held on the same day as the launch of the company itself: June 1.

One of the highlights to brighten the function was the felicitation of some of the actors who had worked with Prabhat in its heyday. It was heartening to see actors like Vasanti Patel, Baby Shakuntala and Yashwant Damle on stage and receive awards. The names honoured for their work in film writing and research were the legendary PK Nair, Issaq Munnawar, Shirish Pai and Shashikant Kinikar.

Veteran actor, Dr Shreeram Lagoo got the lifetime achievement award and in his short and simple speech read out by Deepa Lagoo, he reminisced about the fact that despite belonging to a generation which grew up on Prabhat Films, he could not work in any of their films. Later, a book on VG Damle by Mangala Godbole was also released.

In the competition category, some major awards were Best Director to Shivaji Lotan Patil (Dhag), while the Best Actor (male) award was jointly awarded to Vikram Gokhale (Anumati) and Sachin Khedekar, (Kaksparsh). Devika Daftardar won the Best Actress award for Samhita. The Best Supporting Actor and Actress award went to Mrunmayee Deshpande (Mokla Shwaas) and Makarand Anaspure (Bhartiya). Popular music directors Ajay-Atul won the Best Music Director award for Bhartiya.

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