The Provoke Awards 3.0 was the talk of the town all of last month and for good reason too. It wouldn’t be wrong for us to call our three-year -old baby the best awards show in Chennai! And this is not something we’re assuming. We’ve actually been told. By many many people.
That said, even if it isn’t (and we’re just being humble here), there’s no denying that we’re one of the most inclusive awards in the country. We celebrate cinema, the arts, businesses, social organisations and a whole bunch of other areas of excellence. The idea is to find individuals or institutions that are excelling in their respective fields and honour them for it. Because, why not? We’re all in this together and if we don’t pat each other’s back, who will?
We began work on Provoke Awards 3.0, three months before the actual event and while our sales and marketing team scoured the city for event partners, the core team drew out nominations for each of the categories — 38 in all. The nominations were then shortlisted to four per category and then the jury were called in. Our jury deliberated over the winners and the lists were prepared, edited and re-prepared at least 20 times. We were still arguing about the true deserving winners even one week before the event.
But argument, discussion and such intense deliberation always lead to amazing results and our final list of winners was a list almost everyone agreed with. In the following pages we celebrate those winners again and relive some of the moments from that night of pure magic.
Our film awards were carefully chosen and the competition was tough. Films like Kolamaavu Kokila, Vada Chennai, Kanaa, Sarvam Thaala Mayam and Adanga Maru were nominated several times. “Most people don’t realise how tough it is to produce a film like Kanaa,” said Sivakarthikeyan as he received the award for Best Film (as the producer of the film). Kanaa has gone on to win most awards of the season. Vetrimaaran reemphasized the importance of such recognitions, “awards are always special as you get recognition through them. It gives you the encouragement to explore the unexplored,” while Aishwarya Rajesh was excited about being chosen for the award by Provoke for the second time. GV Prakash Kumar was very emotional about winning his first award as an actor, as he has received several awards as a music director, but this was his first award for Best Actor [Male]. Harish Kalyan graciously received his award as said, “this is my first award as a promising actor and I would like to thank the Provoke Team and the audience for their support and love.”
Priya Bhavani Shankar was all smiles when she received the award saying, “it was an absolute pleasure to share screen time with wonderful talent from all walks of life,” while RK Suresh joked about how Provoke Awards is the only awards in the country that gives so much importance to villains. Raaj Ayyappa was speechless for a bit before acknowledging Provoke Lifestyle Magazine for giving him his first award. Our duo debut director award winners were also very happy and thankful for the award and spoke at length about how the industry needed more awards like these that also support and celebrate newcomers.
A very popular name in Telugu and Tamil films, Easwari Rao won the award for Best Character Artiste for her amazing performance in Kaala. We aren’t the only ones who think so though, as she has gone on to win awards for the same role at SIIMA, Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards, Behindwoods Awards and Tamil Nadu State Film Awards. Aaradhana Sivakarthikeyan stole our hearts as she thanked Provoke Lifestyle Magazine for the award and then sang a few lines from the song Vaayadi Petha Pulla for us. Lydian Nadhaswaram is already a favourite with our team and his humility shines through at every interaction with the media. He is absolutely deserving of the Pride of India Award. Dhee received her first award for Rowdy Baby and also regaled the audience with a rendition of the song before Haricharan took over the stage and performed a ditty from the title song of Sarvam Thaala Mayam after graciously accepting his award. G Venket Ram was also very excited about winning Best Photographer twice in a row.
“After working with Provoke for quite a while, I am glad that they recognised me and decided to bestow me with this award,” said Ashwin Thiyagarajan on winning his first award from Provoke for Best Designer. Both D Imman and Ron Ethan Yohann received the first recognitions for their respective films at this edition of Provoke Awards and hoped that this would begin a lucky spree. R Selvaraj summed up his happiness on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award by saying, “I’ve written so many stories in all these years and yet my words fail me. All I can muster the courage to say right now is: thank you.” SB Khanthan graciously agreed to receive the In Memoriam recognition of the Late Crazy Mohan and said something very poignant, “my brother had given me tremendous scripts to direct but I never knew he would give me an opportunity to receive such an award on his behalf.” Priya Dutt spoke about how the media fraternity needed to support each other and how thankful she was for such recognition as media houses do not often recognise the efforts and achievements of each other.
(L-R) Vikram Cotah on behalf of Radisson Blu — Best Hotel [Resort]; Varun Ganesh on behalf of The Slate
— Best Restobar; Susan Marthandam on behalf of Hindustan University — Best Educational Institution [College]; and Selvaraj on behalf of Little Drops — Best NGO.
(L-R) Ruban Das and Nikita Sreenath on behalf of Hilton, Chennai — Best Hotel [Business]; Ravi Janakiraman on behalf of Akshaya Pvt. Ltd. — Best Builders; Ramesh Balakrishnan on behalf of Zee5 — Best Online Streaming Platform; and Rajendran Dhandapani on behalf of Sridhar Vembu — Best Entrepreneur.
(L-R) Dr. Ashwin Vijay — Youth Icon Award; Natasha Soni on behalf of VR Chennai — Best Mall; CK Nageshwaran on behalf of Fortis Healthcare — Best Healthcare; and Dr. P Manorama — Humanitarian of the Year Award.
(L-R) Premanand Rajendran on behalf of Uber Eats — Best Digital Convenience Platform; Archana Kalpathi on behalf of AGS Cinemas — Best Multiplex; Japtej Ahluwalia on behalf of Soy Soi — Best Restaurant; and Jayashree KV on behalf of Lady Andal — Best Educational Institution [School].