October 31 2015
• BBC’s controversial film on Delhi rape wins best investigation
• Hat-trick wins for BBC Asian Network, Star Plus and Media Moguls
• Special Awards for BBC’s Tara Prem, ITV’s Ranvir Singh and actor Roshan Seth
A DOCUMENTARY that shook the world and remains banned in India won the fiercely competitive Best Investigation category at the Asian Media Awards on Thursday (October 29).
“India’s Daughter” a film by Leslie Udwin and Riddhi Jha scooped the prize, beating off the other contenders, “Exposure – Jihad: A British Story”, “Muslim Drag Queens”, “Pakistan’s hidden shame”, “Unreported World: Vaccination Wars” and “Revenge Porn” .
Jha, the film’s associate producer, collected the award – one of 24 in total presented on a high octane evening at the Hilton Deansgate, Manchester.
Awards judge Shamim Choudhury, a broadcaster with international news channel TRT World Turkey, and a former UK TV journalist, said she was looking for film that resonated, had power but also had a deeply personal touch.
She commended the makers of “India’s Daughter” for their courage and commitment in telling a deeply affecting and powerful tale.
Jha told the audience that Udwin was in the US on a promotional tour, thanked everyone for supporting the film, and read out a short statement from Udwin – reacting immediately to the win.
Udwin called on the Indian government to lift its ban, said she continued to love the country, and despite everything remained committed to it.
Jha later told www.asianculturevulture.com that the team behind “India’s Daughter” hope to get on the Oscars shortlist. It is thought to be on a longlist. The official shortlists will be announced around four weeks before the ceremony on February 28 2016.
Among the other notable winners on the evening were Ranvir Singh, who was presented with the much coveted, Media Personality of the Year award. Singh who has appeared on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain”, has presented a series of hard-hitting reports on the refugee crisis and drink driving, among other stories. But perhaps her most striking investigation was an ITV1 “Exposure: When Pregnant Women Drink” which sparked a national debate and led to Singh becoming patron of the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFA-UK).
Actor Roshan Seth, well known to those who follow the Channel 4 series, “Indian Summers” and admirers of the late Sir Richard Attenborough’s seminal 1982 film, “Gandhi” and audiences who saw the recent US indie “Brahmin Bulls” alongside “Heroes” star Sendhil Ramamurthy, was presented with the Sophiya Haque Services to British Television & Film. Created to remember the achievements of the one-time “Coronation Street” Star, and much travelled talent who enjoyed roles in West End smashes, “Bombay Dreams” and “The Far Pavillions” before succumbing to cancer rather suddenly aged just 41. Haque’s sisters presented the award to Seth’s agent.
Seth in a video recorded at home in Delhi, told the high powered gathering that he was proud and humbled to receive the award. He recounted how difficult it had been to establish himself as an actor when he first came to Britain but after a break as a journalist and editor in India, he returned to the craft in 1982 and has never looked back.
Some 50 years of British Asian Broadcasting was recognised with Tara Prem receiving an special award for Outstanding Contribution to Media. The one-time actor, and writer-producer now, has been making programmes for the BBC since the 1970s. She was inspired by her father, Bakshi, who came to Britain in 1931 and worked for the BBC’s India Service at the time.
Prem received the award from Waris Hussein, who was recognised for achievements as a pioneering television director last year – he directed the first ever “Dr Who” and went onto enjoy international acclaim for his 1978 “Edward and Mrs Simpson” drama series.
Youtube star Parle Patel won the Best Video Channel award – his “Planet Parle” has more than 30,000 subscribers and nearly three million views. His progress has been remarkable over just a period of two years. Earlier this year he teamed up with BBC, B4UMusic and ACV presenter Attika Choudhary to make a docu-drama about the issue of depression in older South Asian men. The piece has been a hit and has been widely praised for tackling a taboo issue not much discussed.
The awards ceremony was compered by Sky News’ Jannat Jalil with a warm up comedy turn from Tez Ilyas and there were tributes in memory of the work and achievements of Tony Singh Pabla (www.punjab2000.com) and Shahida Akhtar of Sunrise Yorkshire.
Among the other winners – Anita Anand was named the Radio Presenter of the Year for her work on BBC Radio 4’s “Any Answers?”. She has also fronted a number of the Channel’s flagship TV political programmes. Earlier this year she was at the Jaipur Literature Festival, promoting her book, “Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary“.
Many of the cast from SKY TV’s reality TV series “Desi Rascals” were on hand to collect the award for Best TV Show. Gurinder Chadha, who produced the series alongside “Towie” producer Tony Woodcock, is in India, filming her Mountbatten epic, “Viceroy’s House“. Husband writer-director Paul Mayeda Berges received the award on her behalf. Chadha enjoyed a another triumph when “Bend It Like Beckham” musical won in the newly constituted Live Stage Productions.
Eastenders star Rakhee Thakrar (Shabnam Masood) accepted her Best TV Character award in a pre-recorded video, using a croissant to highlight her delight.
The Journalist of the Year award went to Kavita Puri, BBC current affairs editor.
Siraj Datoo took the prize for outstanding young journalist – a political reporter for Buzzfeed, he produced a series of off-diary exclusives during the General Election campaign.
Regional journalist of the year went to Sangeeta Bhabra of ITV Meridian.
A BBC Newsnight report, “Slave Wives” won TV Report of the Year.
The BBC Asian Network took home their third consecutive Radio Station of the Year Award.
PR agency Media Moguls and broadcaster Star Plus won in the Media Agency of the Year and TV Channel of the Year in their respective categories and have now scored a trio of triumphs.
Sabras Radio from Leicester took the Regional Radio Station of the Year accolade, in what is the broadcaster’s 20th year.
Natasha Mudhar from media agency, Sterling Media, won the Media Professional of the Year title, while Asad Shan of Zing, took the title of TV Presenter of the Year.
In the newly constituted live stage productions category, hit musical, “Bend It Like Beckham” triumphed and Berges was again on hand for Gurinder Chadha’s second accolade of the evening.
The Best Event Award was taken by Leicester City Council for its annual Diwali lights switch on.
Asian Express, based in Leeds, took the Publication of the Year Award. It has welcomed Prime Minister David Cameron to its offices.
The best blogger category went to Amena Beauty, who is better known as Pearl Daisy.
And last but not least, www.desiblitz.com won in the website category.
Top picture: Shamim Chowdhury (left) and Riddhi Jha
All pictures courtesy of Asian Media Awards
Award winners in full
Best Investigation: India’s Daughter
Journalist of the Year: Kavita Puri
Sophiya Haque Services to British Television & Film: Roshan Seth
Media Personality of the Year 2015: Ranvir Singh
Outstanding Contribution to Media: Tara Prem
Best Video Channel: Planet Parle
Best Live Event: Diwali Lights-on Leicester
Best Stage Production: Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical
Media Professional of the Year: Natasha Mudhar
Media Agency of the Year: Media Moguls
TV Report of the Year: Slave Wives (BBC Newsnight)
Best TV Show: Desi Rascals
Best TV Character Rakhee Thakrar (Shabnam Masood)
TV Channel of the Year Star Plus
TV Presenter of the Year: Asad Shan
Regional Radio Station of the Year: Sabras Radio
Best Radio Show: Noreen Khan
Radio Station of the Year: BBC Asian Network
Radio Presenter of the Year: Anita Anand
Outstanding Young Journalist: Siraj Datoo, Buzzfeed
Publication of the Year: Asian Express
Regional Journalist of the Year: Sangeeta Bhabra
Best Blog: Amena Beauty
Best Website: DesiBlitz.com
The judges are: Liza Aziz, Shelina Begum, Mihir Bose, Paul Broster, Shamim Chowdhury, Roohi Hasan, Beth Hewitt, Vidar Hjardeng MBE, Sunny Hundal, Tommy Johnston, Amanda Leigh, Safraz Manzoor, Safina Mirza, Sanjay Shabi,and Annabelle Waller.
The University of Salford are premier sponsors and partners to the event include ITV, MediaCom & Press Association Training.
The 2015 AMA’s supported Plan UK’s ‘Because I am a Girl’ Campaign.
The Asian Media Awards 2015 is supported by University of Salford, Hilton Manchester Deansgate, Carter Law Solicitors, Manchester Metropolitan University, Routes into Languages, Evoque Medical, Zac Dean, Ride Leasing, AMT Lawyers, ITV, MediaCom, Press Association Training, Supreme Dream Events, Cleartwo, Payal, Plan UK & Because I Am A Girl.