By Priyanka Khanna, IANS
New Delhi, Jan 16 (IANS) It is that time of the year again when Bollywood awards itself.
It is at this time when the high and the mighty of the Indian entertainment industry engage in sweet nothings with media houses, hold behind-the-door parleys with trade pundits and do whatever else it takes to be in the reckoning for the honours.
The 50th Manikchand Filmfare Awards 2004 has begun calling for nominations while the equally reputed 11th Annual Star-Screen Awards jury has announced its nominations.
Like every year, this year will see the usual controversies, heartburns and of course cheers. As has been the tradition, most Bollywood film awards throw up roughly the same set of toppers.
As a courtesy, the nomination list will include all good films, whether they are commercial hits or not, but the ones who take home the trophy will be the ones who made the cash registers ring the loudest. Even the coveted National Film Awards have in the recent past begun to sing the same tune.
Trade weekly Screen says the hot contenders of awards for year 2004 will be dominated by Yash Chopra who says: "Whether it's 'Hum Tum', 'Dhoom' or 'Veer-Zaara' it was hard work and perseverance that got us nominated. The credit must go to the entire team for it.
"My son Aditya is a young filmmaker and all three films were his original ideas. They have worked wonders as these nominations and their commercial success have proved. I'd be thrilled if any Yashraj production won an award in any category. Just being nominated is an award for excellence."
Expectedly, his "Veer-Zaara" tops the list of nominations. Screen has given "Veer-Zaara" 14 nominations. It figures in most of the popular categories including Best Film (Yash Chopra), Best Director (Yash Chopra making a comeback after seven years), Best Actor - Male (Shah Rukh Khan) and Best Actor - Female (Preity Zinta).
Divya Dutta and Rani Mukerji too have been nominated in the Best Actor (Female) in the supporting role category.
In the second place is another Yashraj Films' production, "Hum Tum" with 12 nominations. One song, "Sanson ke..."m has fetched nominations for Babul Supriyo (Best Playback Singer-Male), Alka Yagnik (Best Playback Singer-Female) and Prasoon Joshi (Best Lyricist).
In the popular categories "Hum Tum" will also be in contention for the awards for Best Actor-Male (Saif Ali Khan), Best Actor-Female (Rani Mukerji) and Best Actor-Female-In A Supporting Role (Kirron Kher).
"Main Hoon Naa" is third with 11 nominations. Sonu Nigam has been nominated twice in the Best Playback Singer (Male) category for the film's title track, "Kiska hai yeh..." and the qawwali "Tumse milke...".
Zayed Khan is thrilled to brush shoulders with Pankaj Kapur ("Maqbool"), Akshay Kumar ("Mujhse Shaadi Karogi"), Sanjay Dutt ("Deewar") and Abhishek Bachchan for Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Male) ("Yuva").
In the technical category "Main Hoon Naa" figures among the nominations for Best Special Effects (Rajtaru Videosonic and Eagle Video), Best Art Direction (Sabu Cyril), Best Sound Design (Rakesh Ranjan and Shirish Kunder), Best Choreography (Farah Khan for "Tumse milke...") and Best Action (Allan Amin).
It's a hat trick for Rani Mukerji with nominations in three categories - Best Actor (Female) for "Hum Tum" and Best Actor (Female) In A Supporting Role for "Yuva" and "Veer-Zaara."
It's a trio for art director Sharmishta Roy too ("Veer-Zaara," "Mujhse Shaadi Karogi" and "Meenaxi"). Farah Khan has two entries for Best Choreography ("Mujhse Shaadi Karogi" and "Main Hoon Naa") and is amongst the three Best Debut Directors for "Main Hoon Naa".
Mani Ratnam ("Yuva") is three times lucky as well, figuring amongst the Best Directors and Best Screenplay writers and sharing the Best Film honours with G. Srinivasan. Javed Akhtar is in contention for the Best Lyrics Award for "Veer-Zaara" and "Main Hoon Naa" and Best Story for "Lakshya".
Aditya Chopra makes the grade for Best Story, Screenplay and Dialogue, all three nominations for "Veer-Zaara". "Hum Tum" has fetched Kunal Kohli three nominations too for Best Director, Best Dialogue and Best Screenplay (which he shares with Siddharth Raj Anand).
Finally, Ashutosh Gowariker has a triple to his name too with "Swades" getting him into the Best Film, Best Director and Best Story list.
In the Best Film category, the hot favourite is "Veer-Zaara" but also in contention is "Mujhse Shaadi Karoge" by Sajid Nadiadwala who says his film was not just an entertaining film but also high in production values.
"Swades" may not have got Ashutosh Gowariker commercial success but it is in the competition, and he seems equally surprised when he says: "Frankly, I wasn't expecting so many nominations. I'd thought that Shah Rukh Khan would be nominated in the Best Actor category for his much-raved performance in 'Swades' and Javed Akhtar would get recognition for the lyrics he wrote.
"A.R. Rahman too deserved to be nominated for his musical score. I'm sad the film hasn't been nominated in these categories but also happy that it has been acknowledged in others. The film didn't get a huge opening but we got a favourable response and over the weeks, the collections have been picking up. It's doing well in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. The number of prints in Bihar is increased. That's very encouraging as are the nominations."
Another commercial dud, "Yuva", has made it to the final stage of selection.
"Swades" has got Ashutosh nominated for the Best Director category. And the list also includes Farhan Akhtar for "Lakshya", Kunal Kohli for "Hum Tum", Mani Ratnam for "Yuva" and Yash Chopra for "Veer-Zaara".
No surprises in the nomination list of Best Actor male for 2004. Amitabh Bachchan has been nominated for "Dev," Nana Patekar for "Ab Tak Chappan, "Saif Ali Khan" for "Hum Tum," Shah Rukh Khan for "Veer-Zaara" and Salman Khan for "Garv".
Best actor female nominations include Kareena Kapoor for "Dev", Preity Zinta for "Veer-Zaara", Rani Mukerji for "Hum Tum", surprisingly Shilpa Shetty for "Phir Milenge" and "Urmila Matondkar" for "Ek Hasina Thi".