Zoya Akhtar and Vidya Balan
Zoya Akhtar and Vidya BalanPR Handout

Nominations for the first-ever Critics Choice Film Awards, an initiative by the Film Critics Guild and Motion Content Group, were announced by Actor Vidya Balan and Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar at an event in Mumbai.

A pan-India platform, the Critics Choice Film awards aim to recognise and honour the best of Indian Cinema across 8 languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali for the year 2018.

Hailing the credibility and integrity of the awards, Zoya Akhtar reminisced about the time when her debut film Luck By Chance had lucked out at the box office, but how she survived that difficult period due to the support she received from the critics. Vidya Balan added that while her own film's criticism may not be music to her ears, she always listens and takes all the feedback from the critics very seriously.

Announcing the awards, Zoya Akhtar shared the nominations for the best production design with the names of Rita Ghosh for Manto, Shubhrato Chakraborty and Amit Ray for Padmaavat, Nitin Zihani Choudhary and Rakesh Yadav for Tummbad. Moving towards the next category, Zoya Akhtar along with critic Raja Sen announced the names for best songs including Aahista from Laila Majnu, Bol Ke Lab Azad Hai from Manto, Dilbaro from Raazi, Halla from Manmarziyaan and Paintra from Mukkabaaz.

For the best background score, the nominations are Daniel B. Gorge for AndhaDhun, Amit Trivedi for Manmarziyaan, and Zespa Kyd for Tummbad. Best editing nominations included Pooja Ladha Surti for AndhaDhun, Nitin Baid for Raazi, Sanyukta Kaza for Tummbad. For cinematographers, the awards nominated Avik Mukhopadhyay for October, Sudip Chatterjee for Padmaavat, and Pankaj Kumar for Tumbbad.

Best writer nominations had Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, Pooja Ladha Surti, Yogesh Chandekar, Hemanth Rao for AndhaDhun, Shantanu Shrivastava and Akshat Ghidial for Badhaai Ho, Raj Nidimoru, Krishna D.K., and Sumit Arora for Stree.

Announcing the regional nominations, Vidya Balan and Bhawana Somaaya presented the Marathi films as Naal, Lathe Joshi, Redu, Gujarati films included Ddhh, Reva, Ventilator. Bengali nominations included Ekje Chilo Raja, Upa, Rainbow Jelly, and Telugu films consisted of Keraf Knacharapalem, Mahanati, and Rangasthalam.

Nominations for best film Kannada included Ammachi Yemba Nenapu, Nathicharami, Ondalla Eradalla, Tamil films nominated are Merku Thodarchi Malai, Pariyerum Perumal, Vada Chennai, Malayam films are Ee Ma Yau, Eeda, Sudani from Nigeria.

Zoya Akhtar and Vidya Balan announced the main categories of awards together starting with supporting cast female which included Gitanjali Rao for October, Rasika Duggal for Manto, Surekha Sikhri for Badhaai Ho, Swara Bhasker for Veere Di Wedding, and Yamini Das for Sui Dhaaga. The best supporting actor male nominations are Abhishek Bachchan for Manmarziyaan, Jaideep Alhawat for Raazi, Manoj Pahwa for Mulk, Pankaj Tripathi for Stree and Vicky Kaushal for Sanju.

The awards for best actor female won nominations to Alia Bhatt for Raazi, Anushka Sharma for Pari, Neena Gupta for Badhaai Ho, Taapsee Pannu for Manmarziyaan and Tabu for AndhaDhun.

Male Best Actors included Ayushmann Khurrana for AndhaDhun, Gajaraj Rao for Badhaai Ho, Ranbir Kapoor for Sanju, Ranveer Singh for Padmaavat, and Vineet Singh for Mukkabaaz.

Nominations for the best director are Amit Sharma for Badhaai Ho, Meghna Gulzar for Raazi, Aadesh Prasad and Rahi Anil Barve, Shoojit Sircar for October, and Sriram Raghavan for AndhaDhun.

The most awaited and anticipated award nominations for the best film included AndhaDhun, Raazi, Badhaai Ho, October, and Tumbbad.

Present at the event were renowned film critics Anupama Chopra, Rajeev Masand, Bhawana Somaaya, Raja Sen, Shubha Shetty Saha, Bharathi Pradhan, Udita Jhunjhunwala, Ajay Bramhatmaj and Rahul Desai.

After the short film awards, this is the second time that the Film Critics Guild and Motion Content Group have joined hands. The Critics Choice film awards are the first prominent awards body, after the prestigious National Film awards, to award filmmaking in eight major languages. The main awards ceremony will take place in Mumbai on 21st April, 2019.