Indywood Media Excellence Awards—Mumbai edition

Why do some people dedicate their life to the promotion of others? Why have they made such a seemingly strange deed the central focus of their life and work? What drives them towards an insane passion as this, the Indywood Awards?

The answer to such questions often is easily found if one cares enough to re-visit the youthful days of these very personalities. Take, as an instance, Sohan Roy, founder chairman and CEO of the Aries group. His name figures in the Forbes list of Top Indian Business Leaders in the Arab World. Yet, instead of simply furthering his riches, he has a spend a substantial amount of his time and energy in the last few years distributing awards to worthy creative folk here in India.

Way back in the early 80s, Roy complied with the wishes of his family and completed his architectural course in maritime engineering. Though his passion lay totally elsewhere. He and a childhood friend named Dilip had wanted madly to be in the cinema. It was the entire universe of them, this dream. But like all good kids who respect the wishes of their family, Roy took the path they chose for him. (Dilip, of course, as everyone knows, is today one of the reigning superstars of the Malayalam film industry.)

This indeed is one of the reasons why some people choose to promote other people.


A few evenings ago, Indywood Carnival, a brainchild of Roy, recognised and honoured over 25 film media personalities in Mumbai, for their respective contributions.


Lifetime Achievement Award—for creative contribution to, and documentation of, popular Indian cinema

Amit Khanna. Notable lyricist-scriptwriter-director-producer. Credited with being the one who coined the term ‘Bollywood’. Co-author of books on cinema, including Encyclopedia Britannica’s Encyclopedia of Bollywood. Presently, documenting the history of the Indian media & entertainment industry, to be published by Harper Collins.


Lifetime Achievement Award—for contribution to Indian film journalism

Ali Peter John. Veteran film journalist with decades of experience of writing in film trade journals. Author of innumerable film books, most of which were released by Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, and Subhash Ghai.


Honorary Award—for promotion of good cinema

Rafique Bhaghdadi. National-Award-winning film critic. President of FIPRESCI-India.

Ashok Rane. Two-time National-Award-winning film critic. Professor of film criticism, last 35 years. And director of the Indian Film Academy (IFA).


Honorary Award—for Online Film Publishing

Bikas Mishra. Film reviewer, filmmaker, and founder of the now-defunct

Karan Bali. Docu-filmmaker, film reviewer, and co-founder of

Saumil Gandhi. Film reviewer and co-founder of


Sukanya Verma at Indywood Media Excellence Awards, Mumbai edition.

Sukanya Verma

Film Review—Online Media

Sukanya Verma. Co-author of book on Indian cinema, & recipient of Best Film Critic Award at  Jagran Film Festival.

Tanul Takur. National-Award-winning film critic.

Raja Sen. Film reviewer, NDTV. Formerly, film reviewer at Rediff (13 years).

Rajesh Kumar Singh. Scriptwriter of one of India’s first soap operas, ‘Shanti’. And fiery film journalist /reviewer.


Film Review—Print Media

Mayank Shekhar. Film reviewer, & recipient of Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism. Presently, entertainment head of Mid-Day.

Namrata Joshi. National-Award-winning film critic. Presently, cinema editor for the Mumbai edition of The Hindu.


Popular Film Review

Rajeev Masand. Popular contemporary film reviewer on CNN-IBN.

Anupama Chopra. Popular TV film reviewer. Author of several books on Indian film. Festival director of Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI).


Film Trade Analysis

Komal Nahta. Editor-publisher of one of the oldest weekly trade magazines in Mumbai, ‘Film Information’. And senior film journalist /trade analyst.


Film Journalism

Jyothi Venkatesh. Former censor board member for films releasing in Mumbai. Recipient of the Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to film journalism. Presently, writes for, and edits, a weekly film trade magazine.

Alaka Sahani. National-Award winner. Writes for The Indian Express.


At a press break during the Indywood awards ceremony, someone in the audience asked, “Would you say that the recipients of this evening’s awards represent the best of today’s Media professionals based in Mumbai?” To this, Sohan Roy replied, “We would have liked very much for that to be so. However, quite a few of the invites that we sent out did not reach the prospective recipients in time. Some were out of town. And some others were simply not contactable. And as a matter of policy, we thought it wouldn’t be correct to award anyone without their prior consent”.


Other recipients of the Indywood Media Excellence Awards Mumbai edition include Bhawna Munjal, Geeta Poduval, Siddharth Hussain, Dilip Takur, Anirban, Chaitanya, Batul, Devdutt, and Roshmila. The Kolkata edition of the Indywood Media Excellence Awards would be conducted this month end.



Piyush Chauhan is an apple farmer from Simla with an immense interest in films of all sorts, especially, Hindi. He has reviewed Hollywood films in the past for a semi-trade film magazine. And is a certified mountaineer. In his spare time, which isn’t much these days, he imagines climbing the impossible mountains. He dreams of, someday, touching the peak of Everest on his own as well as of introducing himself to popular Indian cinema as an actor-producer.

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