Neeru Bajwa paid homage to yesteryear queen Priti Sapru through her performance
March 23, as everyone knows, marks the martyrdom of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. It was on this day in 1931 that he was hanged by the British in Lahore for waging a war against them. Ever since then, the day holds a special place in Punjab. We couldn’t think of a better way to begin the proceedings of the second edition of the Jio Filmfare Awards Punjabi 2018, than by paying our heartfelt tribute to one of the foremost heroes of the freedom struggle. Rising talent, singer Baaz Dhaliwal, rose to the occasion as he sang about the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru and reminded everyone of their ultimate sacrifice for the sake of the motherland. To say everyone present got emotional would be an understatement indeed.
It was a night of emotional highs alright. Neeru Bajwa, the current queen of Punjabi cinema, thrilled the audience when she paid homage to yesteryear queen, Priti Sapru by dancing to a collage of the veteran’s numbers. Neeru exclaimed that she hoped she had done justice to the songs and added she was privileged to recreate them.
Priti Sapru was our Lifetime Achievement Award winner this year. Being the daughter of veteran character actor DK Sapru, she grew up in Mumbai and had been part of the Filmfare ceremony earlier. She said as much in her acceptance speech. “I first attended Filmfare in Mumbai when I was 30 and had thought, will I ever get this award? Today, when my nieces and nephews are into acting, I am getting this award,” she said. Presenting her the award was Nirmal Rishi, her costar in many films, and one of the finest character actors of Punjabi cinema. Nirmal too went on to win the Best Actor In A Supporting Role (Female) trophy for her role in Nikka Zaildar 2. She comes across as a disciplinarian grandmother, whom we can’t help but love. And she played exactly that in the film.
In his speech, Guggu Gill thanked veteran Dharmendra for being his inspiration and influencing him to take up acting
Veteran Guggu Gill,who had handed over the LTA trophy last year to Yograj Singh, received the Living Legend Award this year from his long-time friend and colleague, Yograj, this year in a reciprocal gesture. Yograj’s happiness knew no bounds when he came on stage to hand over the trophy. He waxed eloquent about how he considered Guggu as his younger brother and was proud of his achievements. He recalled that his mother too loved Guggu as her younger son and went on to say he had yet to come across acr a more handsome leading man in the Punjabi industry. “Tere varga sohna munda nai jameya!” said he. Guggu too grew nostalgic over their long association. In his acceptance speech, he also thanked veteran Dharmendra for being his inspiration and influencing him to take up acting. He addded that like him there were many actors, who owed their existence to the industry’s congenial He-Man. Deep Sidhu, who had the honour of acting with Dharmendra in the crime actioner Jora Dus Numbaria, couldn’t agree more and shouted out his approval from the audience. Guggu may have been nearing 60 but his swagger is intact. He regaled the audience with his spirited performance. Youngsters such as Ranjit Bawa, Amrit Maan and Deep Sidhu sportingly joined him on stage and he matched them step to step.
Another emotional moment occurred when Ravi Dubey, husband of Best Actor In A Leading Role (Female), Sargun Mehta, came on stage to announce her name. She was wearing a flowy gown and he chivalrously rushed down from the dais to escort her up on stage and the audience couldn’t help but go awww! It was Sargun’s second win in as many years. Her happiness was palpable and she thanked her husband for being with her through the highs and the lows. The couple has been together for nine years now ever since they met on the sets of the show, 12/24 Karol Bagh. Theirs has been an inspiring journey. Sargun’s co-star in the film, Amrinder Gill, won the Best Actor (Male) for the same film, Lahoriye. But he couldn’t attend due to prior commitments. His trophy was collected by the film’s producer Karaj Gill. Lahoriye proved to be the most successful film of the evening, winning four trophies.
The quartet of Ninja-Payal Rajput and Ranjit Bawa-Mandy Takhar brought out the fragrance of romance through their performance
Binnu Dhillon, who won the Best Actor Critics’ for his role in the dark comedy Vekh Barataan Chaliyan, brought some laughter to the proceedings when he deadpanned, “Punjabis are famous for chasing goris. This is the first time we are chasing a kaali (referring to the Black Lady).” Binnu, who had won the Best Supporting Actor last year, was in a chirpy mood when we rushed to escort him backstage for the photoshoot.
Staged at the Multi-Purpose Sports Stadium, Mohali, the awards night came alive thanks to the constant bantering between the young emcees, Ammy Virk, Neeru Bajwa, Harrdy Sandhu, Mandy Takhar and B Jay Randhawa. The dashing Randhawa gave an energetic start to the event through his act. While Ammy Virk made a unique entry when he came out of a man-size replica of Filmfare magazine.
We spotted Neeru Bajwa with husband Harry Jawanda, daughter Inaya, and sisterr Rubina Bajwa. They looked adorable as a family together
Ammy’s performance too won much applause. The quartet of Ninja-Payal Rajput and Ranjit Bawa-Mandy Takhar brought out the fragrance of romance through their performance. Only Ranjit Bawa went home without a Black Lady as the other three bagged the Best Newcomer and the Best Actor Critics’ (Female) respectively. Better luck next time dear Ranjit! Harrdy Sandhu’s performance was clearly the showstopper, goingg by the applause he received. Singer Rajvir Jawanda’s energeticc performance got much appreciation as well. Supporting these leading faces of Punjabi cinema was a dance troupe, which exemplifies professionalism and sincerity to the core. Zenith Dance Group enhanced the performances through their choreography and synergy. The Delhi-based dance Academy is helmed by Sooraj Katoch.
Mention must also be made about how event agency, Prinday, helped translate our vision and steered the Jio Filmfare Punjabi Awards 2018, this being their second year. Led by Prabhjot Mahant, the Prinday team was involved with artiste management, show direction and execution on our big night.
Coming back to the show, actors Harby Sangha and Jagjit Sandhu tickled the audience’s funny bone with their split-second comic timing. Their skit involving the introduction of Best Film nominees was unique indeed.
J ass Grewal received two awards - Best Original Story and Best Lyrics for Rabb Da Radio. He exclaimed that he had never written a song in his life and was delighted that he won an award the first time he attempted writing lyrics. The lead actor of Rabb Da Radio, Tarsem Jassar, shared Best Debut (Male) trophy with Ninja, who got it for Channa Mereya. He was appreciative of the fact that young talent was recognised at Filmfare.
Refering to the Black Lady Binnu Dhillon deadpanned, “Punjabis are famous for chasing goris , this is the first time we’re chasing cha a kaali”
Surveen Chawla is a household name in Punjab and nd looked stunning ning in a Shriya Som dress ss,, while Sonam Bajwa killed killed it in a black fit-and-flare lare dress. The duo caught ht up up backstage and was seen en chatting nineteen-to-the the--dozen. We spotted Neeru eru Bajwa with husband Harry Harry Jawanda, daughter Inaya ya,, and sister Rubina Bajwa wa.. They looked adorable as as a family together. Inaya a is is a cutie and perhaps hass the makings of a superstar tar like her mom and aunt in in the coming two decades.. She sure knew how to pose for the camera and wasn’t intimidated by the paparazzi at all. A sheer natural!
The night ended on an emotionally sweeping note when the entire team of Lahoriye, including director Amberdeep Singh, producer Karaj Gill, and actors a Guggu Gill, Nirmal Rishi R , Nimrat Khaira, Sargun S Mehta came to together as family when the th Best Film Award was announced an . Moments like these th leave behind timeless me memories. It was a Kodak mo moment alright...
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Telecast Partner MH One
Multiplex Partner Orienta Cinemas
Radio Partner Radio Mirchi
Trophy Partner The Award Gallery
Venue Partner Multipurpose Sports Stadium Mohali
Hydration Partner Blue Pine Water
Show Direction & Artist Management Prinday
Production Agency Red Carpet Events
Technical Direction & Stage Management On Cue Productions
Acts Choreographed by Zenith Dance Troupe
Script Written by Chann Angrez & Kamal Dhaliwal ■