Filmfare just announced the nominations for its film awards, and it seems to be going the Golden Globes way in the best director category. While Golden Globe chose to snub a director like Greta Gerwig, Filmfare showed the generosity of obliging us with one nomination of a female director. Ashwini Iyyer Tiwari is lucky that she scored a nomination for Bareilly Ki Barfi despite strong competition from Rohit Shetty (Golmaal Again) and David Dhawan (Judwaa 2).

Et tu Filmfare!

The year 2017 saw commercially successful indie films like Secret Superstar, Bareilly Ki Barfi, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan and Tumhari Sulu. Plus critically acclaimed ones as Newton, A Death In The Gunj, Lipstick Under My Burkha and Trapped, which gained appreciation from many viewers. Hence we were willing to give the senseless  Bollywood award shows a chance at redemption this year.

An ideal film award would be the one which would celebrate every aspect of cinema, but most of all excellence.

Alas! If the famed Oscars are scorned every year by cinema lovers, for bungling up nominations, then Indian awards shows have no scope for coming out scratch free.

Of all the awards that are played out on our small screen around the year, Filmfare is the one show, most movie lovers take a little seriously. Others, well, they have given up on pleasing their critics, and have unapologetically embraced the desire to only garner most attendance from popular stars and viewership.

Serial Offender

Now Filmfare also has a reputation of rolling out their self-respect along with their red carpet. Usually to please the most powerful people in the industry. No one from organising committee can ever justify giving Best Male Debutant awards to the likes of Fardeen Khan and Sooraj Pancholi. Or how Dabangg ended up winning the Best Film Award in the year of films like Udaan and Peepli Live.

The bias between popular films backed by powerful people from the industry and standalone critically acclaimed films is obvious.

The best movies and actors end up either winning the Critic’s Choice award or worse, do not even get acknowledged.

In the Best Director category, for example, Filmfare failed to even nominate the likes of Konkana Sen Sharma, Alankrita Shrivastava and Tanuja Chandra. The directors like Advait Chandan (Secret Superstar) and Saket Chaudhary (Hindi Medium) deserve at least a nomination. In fact, judging by the social impact caused by Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, I can even let the nomination of its director Shree Narayan Singh pass. But how does Filmfare justify the nomination of Shashank Khaitan for a mediocre film like Badrinath Ki Dulhania?

No plausible Explanation

It is not as if the organisers are very rigid about the number of directors who can be nominated for this category. For the past two years, and numerous times before that, the category has seen nearly six nominations.

The only justification is that maybe these films were all commercial blockbusters.

This can also be the reason why directors of films like Newton, Trapped and Mukti Bhawan failed to score nominations too. But in past Filmfare has nominated directors of films like Ugly and Guzaarish, which were not commercial blockbusters. So not nominating any of the directors of films like Lipstick Under My Burkha or Qarib Qarib Singlle does not make any sense.

Is this snub deliberate? Have big production houses pressurised Filmfare into giving nominations to their films? Or is Filmfare prone to favouritism? These questions can be better answered when we have the winners list in hand.

Till then we can only be grateful to Filmfare for nominating that one female director.

Also Read : 2017 Saw Bollywood Encouraging Many Women-Centric Ventures

Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section.  The views expressed are author’s own.

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