A HOST of artists, people working in film, and media houses were honoured at the Indian Cinema Centenary Awards in Durban.

The event follows the Indian Cinema Centenary Awards hosted in Joburg in December.

At a similar event, held recently at the Supernova Cinema at Durban’s Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World in, 100 people (film practitioners, singers, dance school members, artists, promoters and more) and media organisations from the greater Durban area, including the Daily News, received specially commissioned Indian Cinema Centenary Awards in honour of their contributions to the promotion of Indian cinema through a range of activities on home soil.

There were posthumous awards for master poet and activist Safi Siddique and travel agency mogul and well-known promoter of Indian film MK Bobby Naidoo.

Fakir Hassen, a prominent Bollywood reporter and one of the organisers of the awards, said one of the reasons the awards were held was to commemorate this as the centenary year of Indian cinema.

“Bobby was the most well-noted promoter of Indian film in this country,” Hassen said.

“Safi was the greatest poet this country has seen, a man who, if he had stayed in India, I’m sure would have been the poet laureate in that country… We also acknowledge many more who would have been deserving.”

Before the recipients were handed their prizes, a special handing out of awards was held for all the sponsors of the Indian Cinema Centenary Awards, including the Moosa family and their Avalon Group.

Commenting after his family received their award, AB Moosa jr humbly said: “If we all didn’t work together I don’t think the celebration of 100 years in cinema could have been done tonight.”

Addressing the award winners and the organising committee, Moosa said: “We salute you and thank you for your support and hopefully we can look forward to another 100 years in cinema.”

Advocate and organising committee member Robin Sewlal saluted fellow committee members Hassen and Kishore Badal and the award winners.

“Congratulations to the recipients of tonight’s awards, you really deserve this evening,” Sewlal said.

“I honestly don’t think artists in this country are duly awarded and recognised. I hope that in future they are duly recognised, by audiences, sponsors and funders supporting local artists and by the media promoting local artists.”

The event featured several musical and dance items, between which awards in a range of categories were presented. The emcees for the evening were Lotus FM’s Mala Lutchmanan and Radio Hindvani’s Sadhana Dayanand.

Indian Consul General VK Sharma was also present to receive an award.

“I think what we need to see is more and more of our movies coming here to be shot in South Africa because the country offers such beautiful landscapes and geography,” Sharma said.

“Some movies have been shot here and we’ve seen South African involvement in films like Race 1 and 2, and more recently in Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola… so we’d like to see more South African involvement and as the consul general we (will) encourage more of this.”

The night was a great success. Among those awarded were: comedian and local Bollywood entertainer Mervyn Pillay; veteran journalist and beauty pageant promoter Farook Khan; media members Lotus FM, the Daily News, The Mercury, Post, Sunday Tribune, Rising Sun, Tabloid, and DStv.