Stars and media personalities gathered at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center's Hall of Fame, in Dhaka, to attend the Meril-Prothom Alo Awards this Friday. This year's programme, however, was different, as it projected a mourning atmosphere for the victims of the Savar
Despite many doubts on whether the event would be eventually staged, stars turned up, as well as socialites and eminent personalities.
The Prothom Alo family pinned black badges on all the guests, as a mark of grief for the Savar victims. The stage also had the dark ambience of a star filled night -- with large banners on both sides saying “We are grief-stricken by Savar building collapse”. Similar banners were also put up outside the venue. Donations from the guests present at the programme added up to 54 lakh taka.
The Meril-Prothom Alo Awards, which stepped into its 14th year, began with author and the daily's Associate Editor Anisul Haq announcing that the event was supposed to be suspended following the Savar disaster, but the decision was reversed to allow the artiste community and the Meril-Prothom Alo family to stand beside the victims.
Prothom Alo Editor Matiur Rahman was next on stage. In his welcome speech, he said, “On behalf of our daily, Bondhu Shobha and Prothom Alo Trust have already begun relief work for the Savar victims. A fund has also been set up at this ceremony to ensure more assistance for those affected by the tragedy.”
“This programme is also being staged to recognise the various contributions made by the artistes in the media,” he added.
Square Toiletries Executive Director Anjan Chowdhury also spoke, saying, “Dawn follows the darkest hours. Square stands beside the victims with its support.”
The award ceremony followed the speeches, with Munmun coming on stage to begin proceedings. The first award was for Lifetime Achievement, which went to Pandit Ram Kanai Das.
Ferdausi Rahman handed a crest and a cheque to the awardee, while Anjan Chowdhury gifted him with an uttorio.
Emcees of the programme -- Chanchal Chowdhury and Mosharraf Karim -- then carried the programme ahead. The award for Best Film went to Humayun Ahmed's “Ghetuputro Komola”; the trophy was received by Faridur Reza Sagor. Meher Afroze Shaon broke in tears when she got up on the stage to receive Humayun Ahmed's Best Director award for the same film.
The award for Best Playwright (TV) went to Azad Abul Kalam, while Critics' Choice award for the Best TV Director went to Animesh Aich. Tarin and Mosharraf Karim won the Critics Choice awards for Best TV Actress and Actor respectively. Critics also awarded Tarik Anam Khan as Best Film Actor, while Shamima Nazneen was the critics' pick for the Best Film Actress honour. Child actors Mamun and Meghla also received special awards from the critics.
Habib won the Best Male Singer award, while Nancy claimed the trophy for Best Female Singer. Zahid Hasan and Tisha were voted the Best TV Actor and Actress respectively. Shakib Khan won the Best Film Actor award, while the Best Film Actress trophy was shared by Jaya Ahsan and Kushum Shikdar.
Anisul Haq drew conclusion to the gala, thanking everyone for their support.