The iReel Awards 2019, lauded and recognised makers and actors who have redefined and brought about a revolution in the web series space. The evening celebrated excellence in Indian homegrown content on OTT platforms. In attendance were Rajkummar Rao, Divyendu Sharma, Radhika Apte, Pankaj Tripathi, Rajshri Deshpande, Amol Parashar, Ranvir Shorey, Surveen Chawla and Aparshakti Khurrana. This was the second edition of the News18.com iReel Awards.
The awards were judged by Ashwini Iyer Tiwari, Shakun Batra and Onir. It was raining awards for Netflix as Delhi Crime, the pacey drama based on the Nirbhaya case, scooped the Best Drama award, the Best Writing (Drama) accolade as well as the versatile and very talented Shefali Shah going on to claim the Best Actress (Drama) award.
On winning the Best Drama award, Delhi Crime director Richie Mehta said, “This was a story that truly touched my heart. The unfortunate event in Delhi and what happened gripped me to an extent that I got in touch with a host of officials in Delhi Police and the IPS. Their insight and perspective helped us get a realistic and riveting take on an incident that shook the nation. I thank them entirely for being the reason for the show’s success.”
Sacred Games too added to Netflix’s trophy cabinet as Amruta Subhash claimed the Best Supporting Actor (Female) award and Alokananda Dasgupta bagged the Best Music Award. In the comedy genre, Netflix’s Little Things 2 earned the moniker of being the best in the business as they won the Best Comedy award. With a dark underlying theme backed with a host of well-etched characters, Delhi Crime made for a riveting take on the horrific 2012 incident in the capital. Shefali enacted the role of the protagonist Vartika Chaturvedi, DCP South Delhi. Little Things 2 was athe realistic tale of Dhruv and Kavya, a modern-day couple who go through a whole lot of ups and downs. Mithila Palkar of the show went on to claim the Best Actor Female (Comedy) award.
Winning plaudits for his portrayal as Kaleen Bhaiya in Amazon Prime’s Mirzapur, Pankaj Tripathi beat a host of other heavyweights to claim the Best Actor (Drama) award. Portraying the role of a city don who uses his legitimate trade as a cover for his guns and drugs business, Mirzapur proved that no role is tough enough for an actor of Pankaj Tripathi’s calibre. On winning the accolade, Pankaj Tripathi said, “I was part of three of the nominated web series here. I’m 44, If I had won this when I was 30, I would have broken down in tears owing to the sheer jubilation. I’ve lost that opportunity.”
For playing unconventional roles that has created new a benchmark, Radhika Apte, was presented the Breakthrough Artist award by Rajkummar Rao. She said, “It’s such an honour to have the opportunity to work on a platform that has today got so much attention. We now have the platform to churn out much better content over diverse genres. The best is yet to come in the web series space.”
Mirzapur went on to bag another award as Divyendu Sharma won the Best Supporting Actor (Male) for playing Phoolchand “Munna” Tripathi, a spoilt brat who wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a mafia don.
The Best Actor (Comedy) award was won by Amol Parashar for his quirky portrayal in TVF’s Tripling 2, while Nikhil Vijay for Gullak bagged the Best Writing (Comedy) award. Earning a reputation for their rib-tickling comedy on offer, Amazon Prime’s Comicstaan 2 won the Best Non-Fiction award. There was a special mention for Hawa Badle Hassu, a science-fiction environmental thriller.
Speaking of the event, Puneet Singhvi, CEO – Digital & President – Corporate Strategy at Network18 said, “Growing from strength to strength, the home-grown web series space in India has displayed tremendous amounts of innovativeness, and brilliance. As we celebrate the webspace, I feel extremely happy that we are the first to honour and acknowledge the stories and storytellers. This is a medium that propels creativity to greater heights resulting in some impeccable piece of work being created for audiences around the country. It is gratifying to see the country’s finest filmmakers, storytellers and actors have come together to celebrate the art of storytelling through digital media.”
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