Volume 5 Issue 05| September 10, 2011|


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Cover Story

The Award Giving Ceremony of Celebreting Life 2011
Only Two More Days to Go!

The photographs on this page are some of the entries for Celebrating Life 2011's Photography Contest. Which ones do you like best? Which ones do you think could win? Find out on 12 September 2011.

Zahidul Naim Zakaria

Only two days to go! On 12 September 2011, Monday, the winners of Celebrating Life 2011 will be declared at its Award Giving Ceremony. And we've got quite the show planned for you! Just like every year since 2008, a few of the winning lyrics that have been composed into songs will be publicly heard for the first time! The winning photos will be exhibited at the entrance of the venue - Bangabandhu Convention Centre. Honourable Minister for Information and Cultural Affairs Abul Kalam Azad will be the Chief Guest of the Ceremony, where various other dignitaries and noted personalities will be present.

The largest reward of organizing any competition is its ability to inspire. As the jury boards trim down the list of potential winners until there are only the names of the best left, the remaining entries enthrall everyone in the room. As we looked in to the winning entries of the Celebrating Life contests, we were truly inspired. What's even more astonishing is the ability of the winning entries to make our eyes wider with awe even after we've been seeing such entries for four consecutive years! But with time, the quality of entries to the Celebrating Life contests seems to be getting better and better. We've seen the classic concepts: the fields of flowers, the colours across the land and the sky that would take hours to define properly, coloured sails on slow fishing boats set against the sky, biodiversity of birds and marine life, etc.

What has been magnificent within the classic concepts is observing how people's lives not only surround nature, but how their lives depend on it. We've gathered awe at the shades of green never seen before with careless eyes; we've been rapt at how the sun's penetrating rays breaking through the lazy clouds create a miasma of colours in the sky. Celebrating Life 2011's theme was “Celebrating the Gifts of Nature”. Photographers make us see that which we might not have seen with our own eyes. Through their lens, they capture their vision and bring to us what they see. In between the muddy blue of the water and the cerulean blue of the sky, in the changing the colours of the sails propelled by the wind, we've seen the celebration of nature in Bangladesh.

The lyrics jury board was as happy as the photography jury board since the quality of entries has improved. The winning lyricist of Celebrating Life can consider writing songs professionally now, said one jury member of the lyrics jury board. However, the same cannot be said about the quality of films that we have received as participants. This is not news. We've witnessed the same thing for quite sometime, which made the organizers believe that there is an immense need for capacity building in the area of film making. With this in mind, from 2011 and onwards, Celebrating Life also includes a “Film Making Workshop” which not only trains selected participants in the ideals of film making, but gives them hands-on experience in the process of making an actual film. We hope that this experience and the learning gathered from this workshop enables participants to make better films, in the process also improving the quality of film entries received by Celebrating Life. Read more about the Film Making Workshop on page 11 of this issue of Star Insight Magazine.

Our biggest regret remains not having the scope to award all entries who have participated, because perhaps many more were deserved so. But then again, the value of an award is indeed embedded in its scarcity. After all, there can only be one best entry in each category, only one second best entry and so on. So, which entries won? Find out at the Award Giving Ceremony. The gates will close at 6.30pm on the 12th, don't be late!

Classical Musical Evening by Ustad Rashid Khan

A very special attraction of the Award Giving Ceremony 2011 is a Classical Musical Evening by Ustad Rashid Khan, the great grandson of the legendary Indian Ustad Inayat Hussain Khan Saheb (the founder of Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana). Ustad Rashid Khan is a renowned Indian vocalist. The Rampur-Sahaswan gayaki (style of singing) is closely related to the Gwalior Gharana, which features medium-slow tempos, a full-throated voice and intricate rhythmic play. Rashid Khan includes the slow elaboration in his vilambit khayals in the manner of his maternal grand-uncle and also developed exceptional expertise in the use of sargams and sargam taankari (play on the scale). He is also a master of the tarana. Although he is a globally reputed classical artist, his works also include Bollywood film songs. A few examples of his works include Aao Ge Jab (Jab We Met), the Song of Shiva, Allah Hi Rahem (My Name Is Khan) and Yatra - A Journey of Rabindrasangeet & Hindustani Classical Bandish (with Nachiketa Chakraborty). He has received the Padma Shri and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards in 2006, and in 2010, he received the Global Indian Music Award (GIMA).

The Ustad's performance is sure to capture hearts of the audience, which will constitute the latter part of the Award Giving Ceremony of Celebrating Life 2011. The musical evening will ensure separately right after the first part of the programme, after all awards have been handed over and all speeches have been delivered. Attendance is by invitations only. Don't forget to bring your invitation cards!


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