Nikaal Awards 2017

Written by Omair Alavi

By: Omair Alavi Once upon a time there used to be a flourishing Pakistani film industry where quality was preferred over quantity; filmmakers knew the difference between film and TV and film actors rarely performed on TV. Film people were treated as celebrities and cinema industry flourished in all this scenario. That was the…

SAMAA | Omair Alavi – Posted: Feb 18, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago

By: Omair Alavi

Once upon a time there used to be a flourishing Pakistani film industry where quality was preferred over quantity; filmmakers knew the difference between film and TV and film actors rarely performed on TV. Film people were treated as celebrities and cinema industry flourished in all this scenario. That was the time when the film wallahs competed for one Nigar Awards that were equivalent to Academy Awards in United States and Filmfare in Bollywood.

Sadly, at the turn of the century, Nigar Awards were put on hold as there weren’t enough films being produced in the country and that was a wise decision to save the integrity of the awards. However, in 2017 Nigar Awards are on the verge of making a comeback but instead of batting like Javed Miandad, they are playing an innings that will remind one of Shahid Afridi. Promote those close to you and ignore those who deserve to be promoted! The nominations were released on Thursday and since then, people have fallen down from their chairs in disbelief, such has been the criteria. Let’s go through each category and find out why people are calling Nigar Awards, Nikaal Awards!

Best Film: There could have been others films as well that did good business (Lahore Se Aagay, 3 Bahadur and Bachaana) but it’s understandable that there was a limit of 6 nominations only.

Actor in Law – The Film (Fizza Ali Mirza/Mehdi Ali)

Ho Mann Jahaan (Sheheryar Munawar, Asim Raza)

Maalik (Ashir Azeem/ Bushra Ashar Azeem)

Mah e Mir (Khurram Rana, Sahir Rasheed, Baddar Ikram)

Janaan (Reham Khan, Hareem Farooq, Munir Hussain, Imran Raza Kazmi)

Dobara Phir Se (Salman Iqbal, Jerjees Seja, Mehreen Jabbar)

Best Debut Director: Wow … what a category to avoid controversy! There was no need to include the name of Ahmed Jamal (Rahm) as the film couldn’t even last a week and had no positives at all. On the contrary, Noor Bukhari’s Ishq Positive had an excellent soundtrack and their cinematography was worth mention. She could easily have replaced Ahmed Jamal but then who would nominate the old-school filmmakers of Lahore, if not the Lollywood-ish Nigaar. Oh wait … isn’t Noor also a Lahori! Then there is Nasir Khan who directed Bachaana and it was certainly better than Rehm as it was shot abroad, had a good story and pool of actors who did their job well; the cinematography and stunts of the movie were something worth a nomination but then, Nasir Khan is new school and Nigaar doesn’t seem to cater to that. There was also a ‘different’ film Dance Kahani the director of which Omar Hassan made his film debut. Maybe the Nigar people didn’t know these people or maybe they didn’t want to!

Ashir Azeem (Malik)

Asim Raza (Ho Mann Jahan)

Anjum Shehzad (Mah e Meer Movie)

Jamal Shah (Revenge Of The Worthless)

Hashim Nadeem (Abdullah)

Ahmed Jamal (Rehm)

Best Director: If this category can have 3 nominations, why can’t the rest be reduced as per the quality of work. Instead of having a Best Debut director, they could have merged it with Best Director but hey, the more the merrier! And I don’t see Wajahat Rauf’s name here … didn’t his film do better than the many flops we produced, like Rahm for instance!

Nabeel Qureshi (Actor In Law)

Azfar Jafri (Jannan)

Mehreen Jabbar (Dobara Phir Say)

Best Actor: Hameed Sheikh in Abdullah: The Final Witness was on top of his game and he should have been here instead of Sajid Hasan who was better in Supporting role in the same film. Rehm didn’t even merit a mention, yet it was nominated for multiple awards!

Fahad Mustafa (Mah-e-Meer)

Fahad Mustafa (Actor In Law)

Mohib Mirza (Bachana)

Yasir Hussain (Lahore Say Agay)

Sajid Hassan (Rehm)

Best Actress: This is an interesting pool of actors – Hareem Farooq who held Dobara Phir Se wasn’t even considered and Maira Khan was, who hardly had screen presence in ROTW. Why they chose an actress who died in the first half is beyond my capability!

Mahira Khan (Ho Mann Jahan)

Maira Khan (Revenge Of The Worthless)

Mehwish Hayat (Actor In Law)

Saba Qamar (Lahore Say Agay)

Armeena Rana Khan (Jannan)

Best Supporting Actor:

Best Supporting Actor: Ali Rehman Khan deserved a place in this category as he was outstanding in Janaan. Ignoring him showed that the people behind the nominations didn’t even watch these films. There was no mention of the late Om Puri and Alyy Khan who were important to Actor In Law’s success; why was Hameed Sheikh nominated as Supporting Actor is something to laugh at because he played the title role in the film and no one in his right mind would nominate a person who plays the title role in Supporting category (unless it’s Ghajini). Then there was Ali Kazmi and Shaz Khan who weren’t even considered for their performance in Dobara Phir Se … now we know why Lollywood crumbled, don’t we!

Ehteshamudin (Malik)

Manzer Sehbai (Mah-e-Meer)

Alyy Khan (Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai)

Hameed Shaikh (Abdullah)

Ajab Gull (Salute)

Best Supporting Actress: Hania Amir was easily the most eligible candidate for this category yet the golden oldies chose a golden oldie Mishi Khan from the same film! Saboor Ali deserved a nomination for her acting in Actor In Law as did Rubina Ashraf for Lahore Se Aagay. Seerat Jafri might be a good actress but trust me, no one deserves an award for being in Rahm, it was that bad!

Saima (Salute)

Sanam Saeed (Dobara Phir Say)

Sonia Jahan (Ho Mann Jahan)

Mishi Khan (Janan)

Seerat Jaffri (Rahm)

Best Actor In a Negative Role: Instead of Sunil Shankar, I would have nominated Shaz Khan, Abdullah Farhatullah and Umar Sultan but that’s only me and I belong to the new world order. Adeel Hashmi would have been a perfect candidate here as well, as he played the bad guy in Bachaana. Amir Qureshi deserved the award because he was the only good thing about Blind Love which is something we should also call Nigar, who are Blind in their love for Lollywood!

Hasan Niyazi (Malik)

Sheraz Butt (Salute)

Sunil Shankar (Rahm)

Sanam Saeed (Mah-e-Meer)

Amir Qureshi (Blind Love)

Best Debut Actor: Anyone who can nominate Nimra and Rabia Butt as Best Actresses for Blind Love and Hijrat must either be mental or blind. British import Madeleine Hanna in Dance Kahani had more expressions than Rabia and Nimra combined yet she couldn’t find a place in the Nigar people’s eyes!

Sunil Shankar (Rahm)

Feroz Khan (Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai)

Yasir Shah (Blind Love)

Shehryar Munawar (Ho Mann Jahan)

Adeel Hussain (Ho Mann Jahan)

Best Debut Actress: Anyone who can nominate Nimra and Rabia Butt as Best Actress must either be mental or blind. Hania Amir should have been in this category as she was outstanding as a new entrant in Janaan. British import Madeleine Hanna in Dance Kahani had more expressions than Rabia and Nimra combined yet she couldn’t find a place in the Nigar people’s eyes!

Sajjal Ali (Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai)

Sanam Saeed (Bachana)

Nimra (Blind Love)

Rabia Butt (Hijrat)

Best Screenplay: So Blind Love, the agonising film with no screenplay and performance finds a place in this important category because Nigar people had to stand for one of their own. Pervez Kaleem isn’t known to the current generation but that’s a good thing because he is one of those people who are responsible for the decline of quality film making in Pakistan. Why didn’t they just give him a Life Time Achievement Award than pair him with people who actually wrote good screenplay! And where is Osman Khalid Butt, the man behind Janaan’s script, Hashim Nadeem who wrote the brilliant Abdullah: The Final Witness, Bilal Sami for Dobara Phir Se, Ayaz Sammo for Aksbandh and Kamran Khan for 3 Bahadur: Revenge of Baba Balaam.

Yasir Hussain (Lahore Say Agay)

Ashar Azeem (Malik)

Muhammad Pervez Kalim (Blind Love)

Fizza Ali Mirza (Actor In Law)

Abdul Khaliq Khan (Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai)

Best Story: There were other films that could have been nominated here but I am out of steam!

Sarmad Sehbai (Mah-e-Meer)

Ashar Azeem (Malik)

Fizza Ali Mirza (Actor In Law)

Asim Raza (Ho Mann Jahan)

Khaliq Khan (Zindagi Kitni Haseen hai)

Best Dialogue: Nigar people could easily have eliminated all films and just included the ‘masterpiece’ Rahm, because its nomination degrades the good work done by the rest. Did they use Eeny, meeny, miny, moe for nominations or did they actually watched these films is one question they need to answer. Janaan had better dialogues for god’s sake but they were for the new generation which is centuries away from Nigar people!

Yashir Hussain (Lahore Say Agay)

Ashar Azeem (Malik)

Fizza Ali Mirza (Actor In Law)

Sarmad Sehbai (Mah-e-Meer)

Mehmood Jamal (Rahm)

Best Music: Wali Hamid Ali Khan may not be a good actor but his family has been doing music since forever … not nominating Ishq Positive where he was one of the co-composers is unjust because it had the best music of all films released in 2016 and that includes all the films mentioned in this category. Sorry!

Shani Arshad (Actor In Law)

Zaib Bangash, Fakhir, Ehtesham Malik (Ho Mann Jahan)

Soch Band (Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai)

Haniya Aslam & Justin Gray (Dobara Phir Say)

Shiraz Uppal (Lahore Say Agay)

Best Lyricist: Nazaria from Malik was the worst penned song of the album; Naina Roye deserved to be here from the same film!

Oh Khudaya (Actor In Law)

Lar Gayan (Dobara Phir Say)

Baifikriyan (Lahore Say Agay)

Tootiya Taraa (Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai)

Nazaria (Malik)

Best Singer Male: Sukhwinder Singh in Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai and his protégé Jabar Abbas in Lahore Se Aagay deserved a nomination here for Kitni Baar and Kalabaaz Dil but they didn’t and I don’t have the energy to present my case.

Atif Aslam – Dil Dancer Hogaya (Actor In Law)

Asrar – Shakarwandan (Ho Mann Jahan)

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Oh Khudaya (Actor In Law)

Soch Band – Tootiya Taraa – (Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai)

Best Female Singer: Lar Gayyan song in Dobara Phir Se was far better than Jhoom Lay in Janaan but for the judges it wasn’t and it shows in their choice of songs. Shreya Ghoshal’s version of Janaan deserved a nomination but we don’t support Indians, right?

Aima Baig -Bai Fikriyan-(Lahore Say Agay)

Mai Dhai -Sarak Sarak (Ho Mann Jahan)

Masooma Anwar – Naina Roye (Malik)

Zaib Bangash – Dil Pagla (Ho Mann Jahan)

Natasha Baig – Jhoom Lay (Jannan)

Best Choreographer: Just give the award to anyone … I don’t care!

Nigah Hussain (Ho Mann Jahan)

Wahab Shah, Hasan Rizvi (Lahore Say Agay)

James Koroni (Dobara Phir Say)

Faizan Ehbab (Jannan)

Papur Samrath (Mah-e-Meer)

Best Cinematography: Two time Emmy Award winning DOP Andreas Burgess was behind the camera for Mehreen Jabbar’s Dobara Phir Se but Emmy people aren’t as qualified to judge as Nigar people and that’s why they didn’t nominate the gora. Asrad Khan was amazing in Bachaana and Rana Kamran in Janaan and they deserved two nominatons rather than just one. Ali Bukhari should be thankful to Nigar people because by nominating him, they honoured his grandfather Riaz Bukhari and father Faisal Bukhari, not his good work which certainly wasn’t the best!

Ali Bukhari (Blind Love)

Adil Askari (Salute)

Rana Kamran (Actor In Law)

Salman Razzaq (Ho Mann Jahan)

Asrad Khan (Lahore Say Agay)

The seriousness of the nominations can be judged from the fact that most names of people and films are incorrectly spelled, something that can never happen in a Filmfare or Oscars. Nigar people should hold a ceremony and hand over the trophy to those they desire rather than making a mockery of our films and people behind those films.

About the author

Omair Alavi

Omair Alavi is a highly regarded journalist, critic, and commentator, specializing in news, sports, showbiz, film, blogs, articles, drama, reviews, and PTV drama. With extensive experience and a keen eye for storytelling, he captivates audiences with his insightful analysis and compelling presentations. His expertise and contributions have made him a prominent figure in the media and entertainment industry.