Volume 2 Issue 95| December 11, 2010|


   Cover Story
   Lifetime Achievement    Awards
   Photography Contest    Winners
   Lyrics Contest    Winners
   Thoughts on    Celebrating Life
   Winning Photographs
   Critics’ Award    Winners

   Star Insight     Home

Cover Story
From Insight Desk

Victors & Veterans of Celebrating Life 2010

What is the most important aspect of a competition? It’s ability to inspire.
On 30th November 2010, at Osmani Memorial Hall, the brightest film makers, television personalities, photographers and lyricists of the nation were honoured through the Celebrating Life Awards of 2010. The Honourable President of Bangladesh Md. Zillur Rahman graced the occasion with his presence and handed over crests and certificates to the award winners.
Zahidul Naim Zakaria

"Next year, it's going to be me up there,” said a spectator to another as a winner of Celebrating Life 2010 stepped up to the stage to receive his award from the Honourable President of Bangladesh, Md. Zillur Rahman. For the award recipient, it was a moment of pride and achievement, for everyone else; it was a moment of inspiration.

I was attending the Award Giving Ceremony of Celebrating Life 2010, where the nation's brightest new film makers, photographers and lyricists were being awarded for their work. As a part of Star Insight team, I am privy to a lot of the inside scoop on Celebrating Life contests, which has been jointly organized by Standard Chartered Bank and the Daily Star for the last three consecutive years. Many a times, I have found myself pondering over the true importance of such competitions, and have searched for its points of impact. While standing next to the audience on the day the awards were being conferred, listening to the spectators' comments, the most important impact of Celebrating Life became clear to me it's embedded power to inspire the future.

As participants watched the best amongst them being recognized amongst their contemporaries and in front of veterans of their arena, their hearts heaved with the urge to compete better. Their will to win amplified as they yearned to be one of the winners on stage being honoured and celebrated by the nation. When participants witness one of their lyrics being sung by a celebrity on stage, it never fails to inspire awe. It is this very power of will, this passion to achieve that brings greatness and quality to their work. And those who did not yet win a Celebrating Life Award shall have their chance to compete again! The organizers have planned Celebrating Life in a sustainable manner, and they expect to organize it every year for the foreseeable future. With each year, the competition becomes richer and more diverse with greater award categories and with greater participation this is evident from the increasing number of entries the organizers have received each year, even after limiting the number of entries that each participant can submit.

The auditorium filled with guests, delegates, winners and participants despite the day-long strike at the Award Giving Ceremony on 30th November 2010

The Award Giving Ceremony was a night to cherish. As Celebrating Life 2010's theme was Indomitable Bangladesh, the winning photographs and lyrics portrayed the undefeatable spirit and daily struggles of our beloved country and it people. Although, as in 2009, the jury board of Celebrating Life 2010's Film Category was unwilling to award any of the films received this year. Participants of Celebrating Life should know that Celebrating Life is not only a competition where the best of the existing pool of participants are awarded. In order to maintain the stature of the awards of Celebrating Life, a minimum bar on quality has been placed and will always exist. This means that if none of the submissions were up to the mark, then the jury panel may very well decide not to award anyone in a particular category. This not only protects the prestige value of the competitions, but also that of the awardees in other segments of the current year and in years to come. We remain hopeful about film making in Bangladesh, and recognizing the need for capacity building, the organizers are putting together plans to organize workshops and discussion sessions for both film making and lyrics writing in 2011.

The event began with a dance performance by Minu Haque and her team, which was a colourful portrayal of the unconquerable spirit of Bangladeshis. The Celebrating Life 2010 Award Giving began with the Lifetime Achievement Winners being honoured. This is a new category introduced for the first time in 2010. As the name suggests, this award is bestowed upon a veteran film maker/ television personality, a photographer and a lyricist/song composer. The Lifetime Achievement Award in Photography has been conferred in the memory of Nowajesh Ahmed, who left us on the Award Giving Ceremony of Celebrating Life 2009. Nowajesh Ahmed, a photographer, a scientist and an academician, served as the head of the team of Judges of the Photography Contest last year. The Lifetime Achievement Winners for Celebrating Life 2010 were Mustafa Manwar for Film/Television, Rashid Talukder for Photography and Mohammad Rafiquzzaman for Lyrics/Music.

The winners of the Photography and Lyrics Contest were awarded subsequently, with the top three in each contest receiving cash awards, certificates and crests and the others receiving honourable mention awards.

Another new segment called “Critics' Award” have been added this year as well. What separated Critics' Award from the rest of the three existing components was that it invited tele-films and television drama productions that have already been aired and was not originally created for Celebrating Life. Also, the Critics' Award section is free from the theme of the contest. The response to the new segment has been fantastic, and the organizers are quite pleased with the submissions that they have received.

In keeping with the popularity of the contest, the values of the awards are going to go up in the future. At the moment, for future Celebrating Life contests, the organizers are considering prize money for Celebrating Life 2011 to be about 5 lac taka for the winning film, 1 lac taka for the winning photograph, and 50 thousand taka for the winning song.

Mr. Jim McCabe, the Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh spoke affably on the occasion and said that the bank was thankful to have partnered with the Daily Star in organizing Celebrating Life competitions. He added that, as a bank with a century-long presence in the country, Standard Chartered is committed to working towards the betterment of the nation's economics and cultural future.

Artists performing a dance based on the theme ‘Indomitable Bangladesh’, choreographed by Minu Haque

The Editor and Publisher of the Daily Star, Mr. Mahfuz Anam delivered a heartfelt speech congratulating the winners of Celebrating Life 2010. He said, “We, as a nation, should have no lack of confidence in our ability. Our painters have their work sold in global markets, our students receive the highest marks in GCE Ordinary and Advanced Level exams competing with students all over the world.” He expressed his gratitude to Md. Zillur Rahman, the Honourable President of Bangladesh, for being present on the occasion and for handing over the awards in person despite his physical issues and hectic work schedule. “Every year, we award the best film makers, photographers and lyricists of the country. This should encourage these award winners to do even better and also motivate those who have not yet won to compete more intensely,” he added. He urged greater participation in the years to come, saying that those who didn't win this year should not give up.

Artists performing a song based on one of the winning lyrics, music directed by Sheikh Sadi Khan

Naquib Khan and his friends performing on stage at the Award Giving Ceremony



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