A Closer Look at Pakistan’s Award Shows

As social animals, humans are biologically wired to crave validation from others as a way of gauging their standing in the world. Award shows make practical use of this principle, and hand out dozens of awards every year to deserving artists. However, contemporary award shows have way more to them than mere appreciation. They are extravagant events with multiple affluent companies sponsoring them. Such functions have been taking place across the globe for many years, and Pakistan has followed suit.

The Format

Since the organization of award galas is an annual tradition that takes place towards the end of the year, they are watched with great anticipation by viewers and the ceremonies telecast on almost all the channels. In order to further liven the proceedings, nominations are announced several months in advance so that the Viewer’s Choice Awards can be decided in accordance with the public opinion. There are quite a few categories that patrons can vote for: Best Plays, Directors, Writers, Original Sound Tracks (OSTs), Actors and Actresses. The nominated projects include all the notable shows that aired in the previous year. Polls are set up on the respective websites of the concerned channels and votes are collected. With only a couple of weeks to go for the grand event, advertisements bombard the television screens with trailers of the show, showing suspenseful moments and star-studded performances. Moving ahead, a week prior to the ceremony, an official documentation of the rehearsals is aired on the channel. This segment features the behind-the-scenes setup, as well as interviews with the participating celebrities. To put it plainly, it is a Public Relations exercise to rake in the highest number of tickets and viewers for the big day. Following a painstaking period of excitement, the show finally goes on air (the live event happens before it’s television premiere). The first segment of the evening is the sparkling Red Carpet that hosts hundreds of acclaimed artists as they parade their outfits and express their feelings about the upcoming show. It only lasts for about 30 minutes, giving way to the opening. A welcome dance is a mandatory ritual, followed by the hosts’ entry and the announcement of the relatively minor awards. The awards are presented by renowned stars after a replay of the nominations. The prize distribution is punctuated by sprightly dance performances and witty commentary, not to mention the occasional controversy that is clearly planted for traction. The major awards are normally divided into two categories: Viewers’ Choice and Jury’s Opinion. Once all the formalities come to a close, the event is wrapped up with a heartfelt thanks to all the attendees.

Pakistan’s Prominent Shows

Pakistan’s Award Shows are unique in the sense that they mostly cater to television rather than cinema. This is in a stark contrast to international shows like the Oscars, or even the Filmfare Awards of India. The reason is obvious, because Lollywood doesn’t produce enough films to justify a full-blown award show. However, our dramatic talent is nothing short of spectacular, and it certainly warrants public recognition. The two most popular award shows of Pakistan are the Lux Style Awards (LSA) and The Kashmir Hum Awards. As the name suggests, the latter are confined to HUM TV projects. The Lux Style Awards, on the other hand, are open to dramas of all channels. However, they are hosted by a different channel every year. The LSAs give awards based solely on the viewers’ opinion, as opposed to a separate Jury category.

The Pros

It is a no-brainer that award ceremonies play an integral role in boosting the self-confidence that artists have in their abilities. Not only is it an excellent way of rewarding the efforts of everyone involved in a certain project, for the awards bring to limelight people that often operate in the background and aren’t in the public eye, such as the directors, writers and music composers. It highlights the important role that they have played in the production of the drama.

Another highlight of award functions is the fact that they allow artists to expand their portfolio by adding a symbol of excellence to it. It elevates their status in the industry and opens up a plethora of fresh avenues for them. As for the viewers, award shows break the monotony of everyday entertainment, and provide them with something to look forward to. Witnessing their favorites shows get their due recognition, is also an exhilarating experience for television enthusiasts. On the whole, it is a fantastic way of making a statement and forging international ties.

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