A glitzy event complete with stars, music and dance. There was the excitement of winning awards. Contemporary issues like rampaging dengue, wars around the world, clashes and artificial intelligence weren’t excluded either.
The 24th edition of Meril-Prothom Alo Awards, a much awaited event for the entertainment industry of the country, turned enjoyable with mesmerising performances and contemporaneity. Plus there was the optimism for peace and amity.
The event opened with a classical dance performance at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre’s Hall of Fame, exactly at 6:00pm on Friday.
Three teams of 30 students from the department of dance at Dhaka University showcased their enthralling dancing skills of Bharatnatyam, Manipuri and Kathak dance styles. Monira Parveen, Warda Rihab and Rachel Priyanka choreographed the whole act.
By that time, the event was already packed with the arrival of stars and acclaimed personalities of different sectors including actors, directors and musicians of the country.
While the audience clapped for the dance performers, Prothom Alo managing editor and acclaimed writer Anisul Hoque took to the stage. Welcoming the guests, he invited Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman and Square Toiletries managing director Anjan Chowdhury on the stage.
Highlighting the background of Meril-Prothom Alo Awards, Matiur Rahman said that Meril and Prothom Alo has been organising this event for 24 years and has been recognised as the biggest showbiz event of the country.
This event is organised to motivate and recognise the work of the stars of country’s entertainment industry. He thanked everyone from Square Toiletries for helping with the organisation of the event.
Matur Rahman said, “We want to see Bangladesh winning in every sector. We want to see the triumph of Bangla culture. In 1971 we sang ‘Ekti mukher hashir jonno juddho kori’ (we fight for the smile on a face) and we want to see that smile of victory on Bangladesh’s face.”
Meanwhile, Anjan Chowdhury expressed his delight for Meril and Square being able to recognise talents of the entertainment industry by remaining involved with this initiative of Prothom Alo for 24 years.
He told the audience, “Let’s all congratulate every star and technician of the entertainment industry by clapping for 30 seconds.” An extraordinary environment was created in the auditorium then. Everyone stood up clapping and the sound echoed throughout the hall. Opening session of the event ended with this.
Then the stage turned into a battle ground for the followers of the two MCs, Siam Ahmed and Pritom Hasan. Right when they were about to start a mock fight Anisul Hoque took to the stage to defuse the situation. He told them, “What we see more often, let’s put that to rest today. Let’s work together with amity.” He then welcomed both MCs with flowers.
With the wish of amity in a moment of crisis for the current world struggling with malice, clashes and wars, main themes of Meril-Prothom Alo Awards this year were ‘amity, harmony and coexistence’.
Actor Tariq Anam Khan was given the responsibility of planning and directing the event. TikTok was the entertainment partner for this year’s event.
The MCs welcomed the audience to enjoy Meril-Prothom Alo Awards-2022. Four musicians of the young generation, Rajib, Sabbir, Kishore and Apu Aman came on to the stage with songs of acclaimed singer Syed Abdul Hadi, who received the lifetime achievement award later.
The award giving segment began with the life time achievement award. Anjan Chowdhury and Matiur Rahman guided the artiste to the stage while legendary singer Runa Laila handed him the award.
Awards have been given in 18 categories including lifetime achievement, films, TV drama, web series and music categories. As always, critics’ and popular choice awards have been distributed among the actors and directors.
Talented artistes of different sectors handed over the awards to their respective winners. And the winning stars expressed their brief reactions of receiving the award.
At the beginning of the award giving segment, the historical date of Bangladesh’s first film, ‘Mukh o Mukhosh’ being released 67 years ago, was brought back to memory.
Actors Abdun Noor Shajal and Prarthana Fardin Dighi came up with a dance performance while, a background score from that film played on. While they performed, posters from the golden era of Bangladeshi films flashed one by one on the digital screen.
‘Film and web film critics’ choice awards’ were announced after that performance. This year, Ramendu Majumdar headed the judges’ panel consisting of Jayanta Chattopadhyay, Wahida Mollick Jolly, Piplu R Khan and N Rashed Chowdhury as members.
Names of nominated artistes were shown on the screen and then the names of best film, director, actor and actress were announced. Celebrity couple Mostofa Sarwar Farooki and Nusrat Imroz Tisha handed announced the names and then handed over the awards to their respective winners.
An act containing dialogues of popular characters from web series, ‘Mohanagar’, ‘Allen Swapan’, ‘Kaiser’, ‘Karagar’ and others were played on the digital screen after that. Then introductions of the nominated artistes from web series category came up on the screen.
Actor Intekhab Dinar and Aupee Karim announced the names of the best series and best director award winners and handed them over to them.
Technologies are changing our familiar routine of life pretty fast while, artificial intelligence or AI has been stunning everyone around. At the end of Meril-Prothom Alo Awards’ 24-year-long journey, the issue of AI also appeared on the stage.
Twin actors, Dibbo-Shommo and Tapur-Tupur took to the stage with an astonishing performance involving song, dance and dialogues based on the topic, what role AI can play in future.
That performance was followed by the critics’ choice award for short films. Tariq Anam Khan was the chairman of the judges’ panel for these four awards while Azad Abul Kalam, Tropa Majumdar, Akram Khan and Mejbaur Rahman Sumon were the members.
Actor Fazlur Rahman Babu and Azmeri Haque Badhon announced the names and handed over the awards among the winners of best scriptwriter, director, actor and actress awards in this category.
Many timeless legends including Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi nazrul Islam have enriched the world of Bangla Music. This time, popular artistes Mehazabein Chowdhury, Sabila Nur, Afran Nisho and co-artistes performed dance numbers with songs, ‘Bhenge Mor Ghorer Chabi’ and ‘Cheyo na Shunoyona’. Ivan Shahriar Shohag choreographed them.
After this performance, it was the time for the popular choice awards. The first announcement was for best debut actor, best male and best female singers of the year.
After the nominations were shown on the screen, singer Bappa Mazumder and Armeen Musa announced the names of the winners and handed over these three awards.
Though they shared the stage on grounds of harmony and amity, a conflict came between the two MCs again. This time the topic was ‘Who are better- actors or singers?’ But, Siam and Pritom’s debate was disrupted by the tune of ‘Shada Shada Kala Kala’ song.
Actor and singer Chanchal Chowdhury performed the song alongside a dance performance by Eagle Dance Group members. To end the debate of supremacy, the MCs then went to Chanchal Chowdhury and he declared that actors and singers are not less capable than one another, rather they are equal.
Being satisfied with the judgment, the MCs announced that the next segment was for the four best actors and actresses of film and drama in the popular choice award category. Actor Zahid Hasan along with Afsana Mimi announced the names of the winners and handed over the awards to them.
Meanwhile, the clock also kept running with the tunes of songs, rhythms of dance and the excitement of winning. The MCs then wished for the clashes and quarrels to stop and the country to thrive.
Finally, with a chorus of the song ‘Dhono Dhanno Pushpo Bhora’ in the voices of singer Rajib, Sabbir, Joy Shahriar, Kishore Das, Nishita Barua, Salma, Jhilik and Kornia curtain fell on the star-studded night of Meril-Prothom Alo Awards.