News18.com’s iReel Awards recognised and awarded outstanding performers in the presence of renowned artists, film-makers and producers at the JW Marriot in Mumbai on 6th September, 2018. Celebrities like Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Nikhil Advani, Hansal Mehta, Harsh Chhaya, Surveen Chawla, Kubra Sait, Rajshree Deshpande, Ameesha Patel, Tanushree Dutta, Tisca Chopra, Rasika Duggal, Vikas Gupta, Karan Wahi and Ronit Roy amplified the glamour quotient at the star-studded event.
It was Bollywood stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Nimrat Kaur who won the Best Actor (Drama) and Best Actress (Drama) awards for their commendable performances in Sacred Games by Netflix and The Test Case by ALTBalaji, respectively. With great critical acclaim and a massive mass appeal for playing the role of Ganesh Gaitonde, it was Nawazuddin who stole the show. Nimrat was also applauded for her strong performance as an army woman and was at her glamourous best as she claimed her award.
Speaking on her win, Nimrat Kaur commented, “The Test Case will always be close to my heart since I belong to an army background. As an actor, the digital medium that all of us have been witnessing has genuinely been the most exciting I been part of. Whether it’s the process or experiencing how many people get to see your work online. It’s not Friday bound nor does it come with a time limit.”
Further accolades followed for Sacred Games, directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, with the show bagging the award for Best Drama. With crisp writing, the web series -collected the Best Writing (Drama) award as well. The cast soon followed with Jitendra Joshi winning the Best Supporting Actor award for his marvellous portrayal as constable Katekar. Backed with a powerful supporting cast likes of Kubra Sait, Rajshri Deshpande, Neeraj Kabi, Sukhmani Sadana, these actors were rewarded with the Best Ensemble Cast award at the awards night.
Commenting on the win, Vikramaditya Motwane and Anurag Kashyap said, “There are so many good shows out there and such good content. This is truly the time for writers. We want to thank Netflix and the audience for making the show what it is today.”
Stand up-comic Sumukhi Suresh was one amongst the winners as she was awarded the Best Actress (Comedy) award for Amazon Prime’s Pushpavalli, which also went on to win the Best Comedy award. Bhupesh Singh won the Best Actor (Comedy) award for his role in Shaitaan Haveli while the Best Writing (Comedy) award went to Mr and Mrs by new-age platform Girliyapa. Ahana Kumra, for her role in Inside Edge, claimed the Best Supporting Actress award.
The esteemed jury for the awards comprised directors Nikhil Advani, Sudhir Mishra and Vice President, Content & Strategy, Book My Show – Monisha Singh Katial, who were enthralled by the content and creativity in the web series segment, and admitted it was difficult to pick one winner across categories.
Speaking about the need to instate these awards, Manish Maheshwari, CEO Network18 Digital said, “Digital content is all consuming and present everywhere today. There is a visible shift from television to digital with more people embracing the latter. The reason for this is that it allows us to make and tell different stories and present it the way we want to. The important thing for most film makers is to be able to have a voice. I think that interesting directors wanting to do interesting stories get caught in the hullaballoo of mainstream cinema. In the web space, they have the opportunity to voice out their creativity.” Adding that iReel is a great initiative to motivate creators in the digital segment he said, “A lot of thought has gone into the various categories at iReel Awards. I’m very happy that there’s an ensemble cast category that does not exist in any of the award shows, anywhere.”