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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Hitlist OTT Awards Season 4: And the winners are…

The resumption of theatrical releases in the aftermath of the lockdown was expected to have spelt the death knell of streaming platforms, which saw unprecedented success during the pandemic. Exposing the fallacy of such notions, OTT releases — with their superlative content — continued to find favour among the masses in 2022, with fans now finding themselves drawn to their favourite web show characters. Projects like Mukhbir: The Story of a Spy, CAT, and Monica O My Darling reaffirmed the place of thrillers in the digital space, while with shows like Rocket Boys, fans found reasons to celebrate the works of Indian scientists. If Abhishek Tripathi’s mundane life as the panchayat secretary of a small village was still interesting enough for fans of Panchayat 2 to consume, Shefali Shah’s act as the tough cop in Delhi Crime 2 had families come together for some late-night binge-watching.

Shefali Shah won two awards, one each for Delhi Crime 2 and Jalsa

Evidently then, when the Mid-day and Radio City Hitlist OTT Awards returned with its fourth edition this year, web-watchers shared their love for their favourite films, stars and shows by voting in abundance. The late Rishi Kapoor and Juhi Chawla’s drama, Sharmaji Namkeen emerged to be the Best Direct-to-Web Film, while Lock Uup winner Munawar Faruqui won the Best Internet Sensation title. Chawla defeated the young guns to win the Best Supporting Actor (Film) title, and Shah took home two titles for Best Actor Series (Delhi Crime S02) and Best Actor Film (Jalsa).

“My character in Delhi Crime 2 is one of the most challenging ones, and yet the most rewarding too. Vartika became unprecedented after season one, so, though I was familiar with her, I was terrified to play her again, since there were big shoes to fill. The expectations were higher. I wanted to ensure that regardless of the case, she comes across as equally dedicated, driven, focused and unmovable when it comes to her duty. Yet the aspects that make her human should not be hidden.” Talking about the film, Jalsa, Shah says, “Ruksana is fiercely protective of her kids, which I identify with, and hence, I could justify the things she does. There is an unpredictability to the character, but, she thinks from her heart, like a mother would.”

Best Actor winners Rao, Inshwak Singh deliver their winning speech

Rajkummar Rao, who took home the title of Best Actor for Monica O My Darling, was celebrated for the portrayal of Jayant Arkhedkar, who suffers the consequences of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Rao says of his win, “To be honest in the situation without intentionally trying to create [humour] was a big challenge, because, as an actor, you become greedy. You begin to think that there is this playground and [there is room to] make things funnier. But, I had to find that right balance in my performance to serve the genre. It needed to be a controlled performance and I had a great time following Vasan’s [Bala] vision. He is an exceptional filmmaker. It’s a layered script, but the way Vasan made the film made me so proud of him. I can’t wait to associate with him again.”

Also Read: Scientists stay a step ahead

TVF’s Arunabh Kumar, whose offering Panchayat 2 won in the Best Creator/Showrunner category and also in the Best New Season segment, said, “I have been following the Radio City and mid-day Hitlist OTT Awards from the first season and would wonder when we would win. With your faith and trust, we will keep telling better stories.” Taking home the title for Best Actor (Series), Rocket Boys actor Ishwak Singh reflects on his portrayal of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, and says, “I learnt so much as an actor and about filmmaking.”

The award goes to…

Best New Series Mukhbir: The Story Of A Spy (ZEE5)
Best New Season Panchayat S02 (Amazon Prime Video)
Best Adaptation (Book/Series) Mukhbir: The Story Of A Spy (ZEE5)
Best Direct-to-Web Film Sharmaji Namkeen (Amazon Prime Video)
Best Actor (Male): Series Ishwak Singh (Rocket Boys, SonyLIV)
Best Actor (Female): Series Shefali Shah (Delhi Crime S02, Netflix)
Best Supporting Actor (Male): Series Suvinder Vicky (CAT, Netflix)
Best Supporting Actor (Female): Series Tillotama Shome (Delhi Crime S02, Netflix)
Best Actor (Male): Film Rajkummar Rao (Monica O My Darling, Netflix)
Best Actor (Female): Film Shefali Shah (Jalsa, Amazon Prime Video)
Best Supporting Actor (Male): Film Gajraj Rao (Maja Ma, Amazon Prime Video)
Best Supporting Actor (Female): Film Juhi Chawla (Sharmaji Namkeen, Amazon Prime Video)
Best Ensemble Cast (Series) Shantanu Shrikant Bhake (Pitchers S02, ZEE5)
Best Non-Fiction Indian Predator: Murder In A Courtroom (Netflix)
Best Creator/Showrunner TVF (Panchayat S02, Amazon Prime Video)
Top Internet Sensation Munawar Faruqui (Lock Upp winner)

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