there are some glaring snubs in the Luxury Pret department
Now in its 16th year, Pakistan’s biggest awards show – the Lux Style Awards – has just revealed the nominations for this year’s grand fiesta. And like every year, there are some expected and unexpected appearances and a handful of notable oversights.
The Lux Style Awards started off more as a platform recognising achievers in style and fashion.
However, over the years, as the Pakistani entertainment industry came out of shackles and grew significantly to create its own identity, LSA quickly became the flagbearer of rewarding the best across all major realms of pop culture, and the only one to do so.
Of course, as the only leading and consistent awards show in the country, it’s high-profile image is often tainted with the stink of controversies and criticism.
Unfair representation and bias form the crux of it all. Come awards night and all good and bad press will translate into more drama as hosts, winners, losers and gatecrashers get the grapevine rolling.
Coming back to the nominations for 2017, the Lux Style Awards’ jury has done a decent job of selecting and honouring artists and so, it seems the team may just succeed in avoiding yet another year of journalistic jeers.
That said, the nominations list is peppered with a few unmissable snubs amidst strong competition paving way for less predictable outcomes. Here is DESIblitz’ ultimate breakdown:
Nominations for excellence in television are by far the best representation of 2016. They offer a good balance of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed.
Popular dramas like Mann Mayal and Dillagi, however, lead the way and rightly so. These, after all, were the highest-rated dramas of Pakistani television in 2016.
However, one can’t help but notice the blatant omission of Hamza Ali Abbasi from the Best TV actor category.
He may not be the celebrity figure around town for almost, always saying the indefensible, but his character Salahuddin, from Mann Mayal, had considerable fanfare. Sallu had become a household name, at times evoking sympathy and at times, frustration, among fans.
Also missing is Feroze Khan – the brash, chauvinistic hero from Gul-e-Rana. In fact, Gul-e-Rana has been snubbed altogether aside from a nod for lead actress Sajal Aly.
All other nominees for Best TV actor are equally deserving for their strong performances in their respective roles so the race is as is a tough one. The same cannot be said for the Best TV actress category which has completely left out the women of Udaari.
Udaari was a game-changing addition to Pakistan’s tele-scape. It dared to speak about child abuse that happens behind closed doors and gave audiences a much-needed reality check.
While Ahsan’s depiction of the ruthless molester was commendable, Udaari’s women were just as strong in their stereotype-defying roles – particularly, Bushra Ansari. In the absence of a Best Supporting Artist category, Ansari surely deserved a nod in the Best TV actress one.
On the whole, competition at the Lux Style Awards 16th edition is intense with strong women portrayals and unconventional storylines taking centre stage. Here is the full list:
Best TV Play
Besharam on ARY Digital
Dillagi on ARY Digital
Mann Mayal on Hum TV
Mein Sitara on TV One
Udaari on Hum TV
Best TV Actor
Ahsan Khan for Udaari
Faisal Qureshi for Bheegi Palkien
Humayun Saeed for Dillagi
Noman Ejaz for Dampukth
Zahid Ahmed for Besharam
Best TV Actress
Maya Ali for Mann Mayal
Mehwish Hayat for Dillagi
Saba Qamar for Besharam
Saba Qamar for Mein Sitara
Sajal Aly for Gul–e–Rana
Best TV Director
Ehtishaamuddin for Udaari
Farooq Rind for Besharam
Haseeb Hasan for Mann Mayal
Kashif Nisar for Dampukth
Nadeem Baig for Dillagi
Best TV Writer
Faiza Iftikhar for Dillagi
Farhat Ishtiaq for Udaari
Sameera Fazal for Mann Mayal
Sarwat Nazeer for Besharam
Zafar Mairai for Dampukth
Best Original Soundtrack
‘Sun Yara‘ by Damia Farooq (ARY Digital) (Producer: Six Sigma Productions)
‘Udaari‘ by Hadiqa Kiyani (HUM TV) (Producer: Momina Duraid, Haisaam Hussain and Shahzad Kashmiri)
‘Hatheli‘ by Nabeel Shaukat (HUM TV) (Producer: Moomal Shunaid, Moomal Entertainment)
‘Mann Mayal‘ by Quratulain Baloch (HUM TV) (Producer: Momina Duraid, Samina Humayun Saeed, Tariq Shah, Sana Shahnawaz)
‘Yeh Ishq‘ by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (ARY Digital) (Producer: Big Bang Productions)
2016 saw a total of 25 Pakistani films hit local screens. However, amidst a chunk of below-average cinema, only a handful managed rave reviews and secured box-office success. And all of them have secured a nod or two in all the film categories at the Lux Style Awards.
Perhaps owing to mixed reviews from critics and average returns on the box office, Bachaana fails to get a mention in the Best Film category. But then Mehreen Jabbar’s Dobara Phir Se wasn’t quite the commercial hit we had all been hoping for either.
Despite giving a decent performance, Adeel Hussain failed to tip the scales in his favour for either of his films (Ho Mann Jahan and Dobara Phir Se). And actor Bilal Ashraf also did not make the cut for his performance in Janaan.
Despite a couple of snubs here and there, the overall list of nominees is justified. Director Nabeel Qureshi of Actor In Law is undoubtedly the strongest contender in the Best Film Director category and so is actor Fahad Mustafa with two nominations in the Best Actor category.
Best Actress, however, is going to be a bloodbath. While Mahira Khan is obviously a favourite, one cannot overlook Mehwish Hayat and Sajal Aly’s memorable performances in Actor In Law and Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai respectively.
It’s also interesting to see tables turn and some serious representation of artists from across the border at a quintessentially Pakistani Lux Style Awards show. These include the late Om Puri for his role in Actor In Law, Shreya Ghoshal for her vocals in Janaan as well as Arman Malik for the same.
Actor in Law
Dobara Phir Se
Ho Mann Jahaan
Best Film Actress
Mahira Khan for Ho Mann Jahan
Mehwish Hayat for Actor In Law
Sabar Qamar for Lahore Se Aagey
Sajal Aly for Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai
Sanam Saeed for Bachaana
Best Film Actor
Ashir Azeem for Maalik
Fahad Mustafa for Actor In Law
Fahad Mustafa for Mah-e-Mir
Mohib Mirza for Bachaana
Yasir Hussain for Lahore Se Aagey
Best Film Director
Anjum Shehzad for Mah-e-Mir
Asim Raza for Ho Mann Jahaan
Azfar Jafri for Janaan
Mehreen Jabbar for Dobara Phir Se
Nabeel Qureshi for Actor In Law
Wajahat Rauf for Lahore Se Aagey
Best Supporting Actress
Hania Aamir for Janaan
Saboor Ali for Actor In Law
Sanam Saeed for Dobara Phir Se
Sonya Jehan for Ho Mann Jahaan
Tooba Siddiqui for Dobara Phir Se
Best Supporting Actor
Ali Kazmi for Dobara Phir Se
Ali Rehman Khan for Janaan
Manzar Sehbhai for Mah-e-Mir
Om Puri for Actor In Law
Sheheryar Munawar for Ho Mann Jahan
Best Singer (Male) – Film
Armaan Malik for Janaan Title Track (Janaan)
Asrar for ‘Funkaran‘ (Actor In Law)
Atif Aslam for ‘Dil Dancer‘ (Actor In Law)
Rajab Ali for ‘Yeh Dhuan‘ (Mah-e-Mir)
Shafqat Amanat Ali for ‘Piya Dekhan Ko‘ (Mah-e-Mir)
Best Singer (Female) – Film
Aima Baig for ‘Kalabaaz Dil‘ (Lahore Se Aagey)
Haniya Aslam for ‘Lar Gaiyyan‘ (Dobara Phir Se)
Masooma Anwer for ‘Naina Roye‘ (Maalik)
Shreya Ghoshal for Janaan Title Track (Janaan)
Zeb Bangash for ‘Dil Pagal‘ (Ho Mann Jahaan)
Fashion is the biggest and most widely recognised category at Lux Style Awards for it laid the very foundation of the awards show 16 years ago. And it’s also the most scandalous – often being the reason of criticism relating to bias.
The latest list of nominations is once again a mixed bag. There is an obvious representation of the young and emerging indicating that it might be time for the old horses to step aside and let young fashioners take charge.
Particularly in the case of Model of the Year (Female) category. The likes of Mehreen Syed, Cybil Chowdhry and Fouzia Aman have been left out to welcome young talent like Zara Abid and Anam Malik on the roster.
Veteran Sunita Marshall, who has been swinging between an acting career and modelling one, goes unnoticed once again and so does British-import Sabeeka Imam despite being a popular face across magazines and billboards.
Elan, Faraz Manan, Sana Safinaz and Sania Maskatiya are usual suspects across the Achievement in Fashion Design categories. But there are some glaring snubs in the Luxury Pret department. Sublime by Sara and Feeha Jamshed, who both put up a great show at the PSFW in 2016, have been left out in the cold.
Nabila has finally decided to forego her nomination allowing others to be rewarded for their blood and sweat as well. Surprisingly, the more popular names like Raana Khan and Sabs haven’t earned a nomination at this year’s Lux Style Awards.
High street brands like Khaadi, Generation and Sapphire take over the Pret wear category leaving no room for the aesthetically-strong but not commercially viable designers. Best Emerging Talent is always a tough one. Emerging model Alyzeh Gabol is overshadowed by the likes of Giti Ara and Iman Madani.
It would also be interesting to add the ‘Best Stylist’ category in the near future as the past year has seen a surge in styling careers. Or better yet, include them in the Emerging Talent category.
Model of the Year (Female)
Model of the Year (Male)
Best Fashion Photographer
Nadir Feroz Khan & Maha Burney at NFK Photography
Best Hair and Makeup Artist
Saima Rashid Bargfred
Achievement in Fashion Design – Pret
Coco by Zara Shahjahan
Achievement in Fashion Design – Luxury Pret
Achievement in Fashion Design – Bridal
The House of Kamiar Rokni
Achievement in Fashion Design – Lawn
Best Menswear Designer
Hassan Sheheryar Yasin
Best Emerging Talent
Aashna Khan – Photographer
Giti Ara – Model
Hira Shah – Model
Imaan Madani – Model
The Pink Tree Company – Designer
The music category is perhaps the most diverse one. Since last year, the Lux Style Awards have become more open to indie acts because commercial pop artists are hardly making any music. Most just resort to the annual Coke Studio stint to reiterate old classics.
Lack of originality in the mainstream meant more recognition for the indie music scene and once again, they seem to be leading the way. From Sibti and Rudoh to Natasha Baig, indie artists are ruling the nomination list.
Popular acts like Zoe Viccaji and Uzair Jaswal also get a nod to maintain a balance. But in a snapshot, Pakistani music is definitely experiencing evolution.
Album of the Year
Book of Sibt by Sibti
Indus Raag 2 by Shareef Awan
Na Bhulana by Uzair Jaswal
Pehli by Mooroo
You by The Sketches
Song of the Year
‘Baarish’ by Tonight Us and Jimmy Khan
‘Haiyyah’ from The Book of Sibt by Sibti
‘Khak Nasheen’ by Chand Tara Orchestra
‘Khaki Banda’ by Umair Jaswal and Ahmed Jahanzeb
‘Saaiyan’ by Quratulain Baloch
Best Music Video Director
Abdullah Harris for ‘Sag-e-Ali’ by Asrar
Aisha Linea Akhtar & Shahbaz Shigri for ‘Le Chaloon’ by Salman Shaukat
Kamal Khan for ‘Ho Jao Azad’ by Zoe Viccaji
Kamal Khan for ‘The Desert Journey’ by D/A Method
Shahab Qamar for ‘Hero’ by Naseer & Shahab
Best Emerging Talent
Basit Ali for Vocals in Anokha Ladla
Bilal Nasir Khan (Rudoh) for Tales for Scrap
Hamza Akram Qawwal for Khuddi
Natasha Baig for Janaan
Shehroz Hussain for Sitaar in Anokha Ladla
Interestingly, the Lux Style Awards – which have repeatedly criticized for not having the timing right – are scheduled to take place well in time this year – on 19th April 2017!
As for the winners, the final results for Best TV Play, Best TV Actor, Best TV Actress, Best Original Soundtrack; Best Film Actor, Best Film Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Playback Singer Male/Female; Album of the Year and Song of the Year categories will be based on viewers’ votes.
All other categories will be decided by Jury votes.