In a glitzy event attuned to the country's heritage, Standard Chartered Bank and The Daily Star yesterday honoured talents at “Celebrating Life 2015” in the spheres of photography, lyrics and film.
The theme of the eighth award-giving ceremony was “Celebrating the Heritage of Bangladesh”.
A palace-shaped stage was set up inside the Hall of Fame of the capital's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) for the glamorous event. With an artistic design, the stage was shimmering with lights and vibrant colours.
This year's lifetime achievement awards went to three eminent personalities -- Actress Farida Akhter Bobita, cinematographer-cum-photographer Afzal H Chowdhury and lyricist-musician Alauddin Ali -- for their outstanding contributions to the respective fields.
A visual presentation showcasing the life sketches and works of the three was screened at the event.
Of the other 20 awardees, two received prizes in film category, seven in lyrics and 11 in photography.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor attended the programme as the chief guest.
Abrar A Anwar, chief executive officer of Standard Chartered Bank, and Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of The Daily Star, spoke on the occasion.
In his speech, the minister said, “I am sincerely thanking the organisers, Standard Chartered Bank and The Daily Star, for their long-term contributions towards honouring and recognising the creative minds of Bangladesh through the Celebrating Life events.”
The chief guest also put emphasis on artistic, musical, cultural and sports activities for young minds alongside their academic activities.
Thanking all involved in organising the event and congratulating all the awardees, Abrar A Anwar said, “I am delighted to be present here. Standard Chartered Bank celebrated the 110th year of banking in Bangladesh.
“Apart from carrying out our banking activities for the country's overall prosperity, we are actively participating in the country's flourishing of art, culture and sports. We hope to go a long way with The Daily Star in this respect.”
Mahfuz Anam said, “There are multifarious ways of building a country. It will matter little how big my single contribution is unless it mingles with the collective and entire contributions of others. This is how a country thrives towards prosperity in every field.
“We, The Daily Star and Standard Chartered Bank, have been inspiring creative minds and giving them a solid platform to flourish their faculties in films, photography and lyrics for the last eight years. We hope to build an artistic and creative Bangladesh through this effort.”
Going down the memory lane, Bobita shared her success story along with the story of her fulfilled and unfulfilled dreams.
Afzal said, “I am extremely honoured to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award conferred by The Daily Star and Standard Chartered Bank.”
The other Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Alauddin Ali, expressed gratitude to the organisers, and hoped Bangladesh would find its way back to the realm of music.
Jointly hosted by Aupi Karim and Mohammed Nawaf Naser, the gala programme included a rendition of a song, written by Mohsin Ahmed, who won the first prize in the lyrics contest.
Popular band Chirkutt, which composed the song, performed it on the stage. The band also performed several of its hit numbers as well as “Dhono Dhanno Pushpo Bhora”.
The gala event included Celebrating Life Photo Exhibition, which was inaugurated by Asaduzzaman Noor. It featured winning photographs of this year's contest.
A documentary on the winners of Celebrating Life: Lifetime Achievement Award was screened. It was followed by the presentation of awards for film, lyrics, and photography.
Zahin Faruk Amin is the winner for the best debut film, while Abid Hossain Khan received the award for the best documentary film.
Award winners in photography category are Kazi Golam Kuddus Helal (first place), Md Rafayet Haque Khan (first runner-up) and Md Rajib Hassan (second runner-up).
In lyrics category, the winners are Mohsin Ahmed (first), Tanzia Tasnim Adiba (second) and Rownok Ara Chomon (third). The trio also received awards in honourable mention category.
ANM Zia, Md Yunus, Md Anamul Haque, Md Shahnewaz Khan, KM Asad, Rumman Mahmood, Md Ekhlas Uddin and Md Mobarak Hossain received awards for their photographs in honourable mention category.
Awards for lyrics in honourable mention category went to Moniruzzaman Palash, Kumar Deep, Tofayel Ahmed Talha and OR Shihab.
After the award ceremony, the audience was enthralled by the performance of two renowned artistes -- Sabina Yasmin and Syed Abdul Hadi. They performed songs penned by Alauddin Ali.
The event was coordinated by Star Showbiz Editor Rafi Hossain. Channel i, Ekattor TV, Star Showbiz and Anandadhara were the media partners of the event.