The 1ST APSARA Film Producers Guild Awards launched last week amidst an illustrious gathering of the film industry's most talented and respected filmmakers has taken off to a thunderous start by receiving an overwhelming response from both the film and TV industry alike. With a huge number of nomination entries received by the Guild for both TV and cinema in the first week itself the awards are truly on their way to becoming India's Oscars. The nominations are slated to be announced on May 6th at a glittering ceremony in Mumbai. Given the record number of entries received so far, the writing on the wall is clear - India's most credible and transparent Awards have arrived! The 1st Apsara Film Producers Guild Awards recognise the growing need to establish a fresh standard for excellence in the Indian entertainment industry. The 50-year old Guild has over 160 members, who constitute the most powerful and influential luminaries in its sector. Ensuring utmost levels of credibility and transparency, the Awards will be audited by Pricewaterhouse Coopers who incidentally also have the honour of having audited the most distinctive film awards in the world - the Oscars for the past 68 years! The 1st Apsara Awards are set to culminate in a glittering grand finale scheduled to be held on Saturday, May 29th, 2004. Supran Sen, Secretary General of the Guild says, The seriousness and commitment of the Guild was expressed by the support given by the entire industry. It was a touching moment to see great film makers like Dr. Ramanand Sagar, Dr. B.R. Chopra, Shri Subhash Ghai and even the younger generation like Karan and Rohan amongst them all. Our phone lines have been very busy as the industry has been lauding the initiative. FPGI has constituted an eminent committee comprising Indian entertainment industry stalwarts to ensure global-class standards for 'The Apsara FPGI Awards'. These personalities who need no introduction, include the Director of the awards, Ramesh Sippy, the President of FPGI, Amit Khanna and the Chairman of the eminent jury across each of the 4 categories -- Shekhar Kapur for the Film awards, Govind Nihalani, for the Technical Awards, Ronnie Screwvala for the Television awards & Yash Chopra, who along with Amit Khanna would head the Special Award category. Said, Amit Khanna, President, Film Producers Guild of India, The overwhelming response to the launch of the 1st Apsara Film Producers Guild Awards is enough proof of the fact that this initiative has been very well-received by the industry. It is indeed a distinguished honour for artists to be recognized by their own peers through Awards that are credible, transparent, objective and completely unbiased, which has been the prime objective behind instituting the '1st Apsara Film Producers Guild Awards'. We shall be leaving no stone unturned to ensure that through these awards we establish a standard that parallels the world's best. Said, Subhash Ghai, Guild Member Indian entertainment is scaling new heights. It's time to honour talent and who better than industry stalwarts to do it. The Apsara will don an extremely prominent mantle in every winners' life as this is an award that truly recognises achievement. Said Mr. Ronnie Screwvala, Chairman, TV Awards Committee, Guild Member Film and television together is the all encompassing future of the Indian Entertainment industry. This first step in that direction is going to pave the way for enriching and motivating more quality products for the Indian viewers. The Film Producers Guild of India has set up a separate APSARA Awards Desk. The entries have started coming in. A special Rules Booklet has been published by the Guild outlining the format and the eligibility criteria. All films and television programmes released between April 1, 2003 to 31st March, 2004 are automatically eligible for the awards. The winners will be voted by the cast of a ballot by all the 160 members of the Guild and not by a viewers' choice poll. Members, some of whom include Aamir Khan, Shyam Benegal, Amitabh Bachchan, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Kamal Barjatiya, will all be participating in the voting process. A total of 36 categories, including 23 from cinema and 13 from television (both fiction and non-fiction), will be honoured at the grand finale. With big-budget blockbusters competing alongside television content and crossover films, entries will be judged on overall quality, content, cinematic brilliance and individual merit. Mr. Ramesh Sippy, Director, APSARA Film Producers Guild Awards said, It is imperative that we make it convenient for all film makers to enter, and indeed encourage television studios too to participate actively. More details on the rules, nomination forms and other information is available on the APSARA Film Producers Guild Awards website which is updated regularly.
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