Shahkaar Theatre Awards Announced

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) The names of the winners of the first Shahkaar Arshad Durrani Awards were announced by the Awards Selection Committee chairperson Justice (Rtd) Nasira Javed Iqbal at a zoom ceremony today. The Shahkaar Award for Excellence in Theatre Excellence was given to actor and activist Sibte Hassan of Makhotay Theatre and actress Nadia Jamil was selected as the winner of the Shahkaar Performing Arts Award “Against All Odds”. The announcements were made in the presence of  the selection Committee members including Ajoka’s Executive Director Shahid Nadeem, Ajoka Chairperson Zara Salman, visual artist Saira Dar and Ajoka Institute Director Nirvaan  Nadeem. Daughter of the Late Arshad Durrani and prominent artist Sumaya Durrani was also present. The awards are co-sponsored by her research project Shahkaar Higher Education research Hub  and Ajoka to pay tribute to the late Arshad Durrani, who passed away in 2018. the awards includes a shield and cash prize.

Winner of the Shahkaar Arshad Durrani Award for Excellence in Theatre, Sibte Hassan started his career as a theatre activist while a student at the Punjab University. He has played major roles in Ajoka’s plays including Bulha, Kaun Hai Yeh Gustakh, Mera Rang Day Basanti Chola, Kabira, Lo Phir Basant Ayee and Kala Meda Bhes. He founded Makhotay Theatre which has performed plays on social and political themes and organized theatre for social change workshops. He is also an active member in the Peoples’ Students Federation. 

Winner of “Shahkaar Arshad Durrani Award Against All Odds” for performing artists, who have fought  trauma, illness disability and old age, has been given to well non theatre & tv artist Nadia Jamil. She started performing as a school student and played major roles in plays by Ajoka Theatre, NAPA and Olomopolo.  She has acted in a number of popular TV plays and telefilms and also in art films including “Raat Chali Hai Jhoom Ke” and “Beauty Parlour”. Nadia is also known for her bold views on feminism and the “Me Too“ movement. She has been a TV anchor and has taught drama in schools. Nadia has fought illness and disability from a young age including epilepsy. She is a Corona and Cancer survivor. She has continued her work as an artist and activist despite these traumas.

Justice (Rtd) Nasira Javed Iqbal while announcing the award said that it was of vital importance to acknowledge and encourage theatre and performing artists. He congratulated Ajoka for launching the awards and hoped this initiative will inspire young artists to pursue their careers in performing arts.  Shahid Nadeem said that the Selection Committee received nominations for distinguished actors and artists and the decision of the Committee was unanimous. Sumaya Durrani said that Ajoka theatre was instrumental in unleashing her father’s creative imagination as an actor in the wake of  trauma , disability ,  terminal illness, and loose. Zara Salman, Nirvaan Nadeem and Saira Dar also spoke on the occasion and congratulated the winners of the award  and paid tributes to the commitment and dedication of late Arshad  Durrani.

The awards will be presented to the winners at a special award ceremony in January 2021.