The much-awaited nominations for the 18th Annual Colors Screen Awards are out and our office is being flooded with calls, many complimentary and a few disappointed at their omission from the coveted list. This is not surprising, because Screen Awards have over the years built a reputation of being the most fair and credible awards in the industry. For itís neither box-office collection nor popular acclaim that determines its merit but cinematic excellence.
Bollywood threw up an eclectic mix of movies in 2011. While formula films like Ready, Bodyguard and Singham proved to be massive blockbusters, urbane films like Don 2, Rockstar and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara also drew large audiences. And then there were the smaller experimental films like Shaitan, No One Killed Jessica, Delhi Belly, Yeh Saali Zindagi and The Dirty Picture that impressed. Our nominations reflect these changing trends. The irreverent comedy Delhi Belly that is 80 per cent in English leads the pack with 19 nominations including Best Film and Best Director. The small but edgy Shaitan helmed by first-timer Bejoy Nambiar follows with 14 nominations across categories. The coming-of-age film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara toplined by Hrithik Roshan, Katrina Kaif and Farhan Akhtar has garnered 12 while a pathbreaking movie like The Dirty Picture has notched up 10 nominations. Experimental films like No One Killed Jessica, Shor In The City and Yeh Saali Zindagi are almost at par with nine nominations each.
A-listers like Ranbir Kapoor (Rockstar), Vidya Balan (The Dirty Picture) and Priyanka Chopra (7 Khoon Maaf) broke new grounds in terms of the roles they attempted, which not only resonated with the audiences, but got noticed by our jury that nominated them in the Best Actor category. Giving glam divas Priyanka Chopra and Vidya Balan competition is Kalki Koechlin who impressed the jury with her brilliant act in Shaitan. Kangana Ranaut, who turned out to be a pro at comedy in her debut attempt in this genre in Tanu Weds Manu, is the other contender and so is Rani Mukerji for her bold act in No One Killed Jessica.
What is heartening is that majority of the directors in the Best Director list are relatively new. While Bejoy is a debutant, for Abhinay Deo (Delhi Belly), Rajkumar Gupta (No One Killed Jessica), Zoya Akhtar (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara) and Krishna D.K and Raj Nidimoru (Shor In The City) their second directorial ventures won them