The night to celebrate excellence in web series is here as iREEL Awards 2019 rolls out the red carpet for the makers and actors of those home-grown web series which have shown great ingenuity, quality and brilliance this year, and changed the landscape of OTT platforms.
While there is a plethora of award shows dedicated to toast Bollywood stars, iREEL Awards is one of those few endeavours that was started last year with the intention to salute the new media and the gamut of its original entertainment content. So far, the awards show has received an overwhelming response not only from the members of the television industry but also from Bollywood's reputed actors.
Tonight is going to be a starry affair as popular actors like Sumeet Vyas, Amol Parashar, Surveen Chawla and Ravi Dubey attend the event. Actors such as Pankaj Tripathi, Ranvir Shorey, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Dia Mirza, Vikrant Massey and Shweta Tripathi are nominated for their roles in different web series.
The award ceremony will announce winners in twelve categories -- Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Actor Drama (Male and Female), Best Actor Comedy (Male and Female), Best Supporting Actor (Male and Female), Best Writing (Drama and Comedy), Best Music, and Best Non-Fiction Show -- who have been selected by a jury, as well as an audience poll.
2019 has been a breakthrough year for Indian web series. Although the viewers had already tasted the deliciousness of new, uncensored Indian content last year with shows such as Inside Edge, the first instalment of Sacred Games and The Test Case, this year, OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar have loosened their purse strings to back new inventive content of shows like Sacred Games 2 and Made in Heaven to give them the production value that Bollywood films would envy.
These shows are bigger not only in terms of their narratives but also in terms of the canvas, and the world they create to immerse you into. Sacred Games may be an exception, with a whopping Rs 100 crore budget, but the other platforms aren't skimping on their shows with quality content either -- be it Little Things 2 (Netflix), The Typewriter (Netflix), Mirzapur (Amazon Prime Video) or Kaafir (ZEE5).
Another great web series trend that started in 2019 is that international audiences have begun to take notice of Indian shows. Sacred Games was in fact reviewed by the New York Times, The Guardian and several other international publications earlier this year. The show has now won an international Emmy nomination. So, it seems that they too are taking note of the powerful stories Indian filmmakers and writers have to show.
In India too, homespun web series are conquering the millennial viewers who, until now, had preferred to binge on American shows. It helps that the policies on restricting the web content are still pretty lax, giving filmmakers the freedom to show mature content. The OTTs have been bold in their choices - while the favourites and big earners come back as sequels, there is no dearth of genre-defying, intelligent and attractive content, which although emulate the western production style and are, therefore, very sophisticated, are still very Indian at heart.
As these web series push boundaries, invent new rules of storytelling, broaden the canvas with higher budgets, and attract international attention, iReel Awards salute the efforts made on every level -- be it the actors, the filmmakers and even the stakeholder, that is the producers -- who make such content available to us. iReel Awards 2019 ceremony will begin on September 23, 2019 at JW Marriot, Shahar from 7:30 pm onwards. For more details, follow our live updates.
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