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Screenwriters' Association announces nominees for Best Lyricists for SWA Awards 2020

A total of ten nominees were selected from 146 entries received by the committee.

Shriram Iyengar

Screenwriters Association (SWA), the Indian guild of screenwriters and lyricists, announced today the ten nominees for the lyrics category of SWA Awards 2020. The winners of the awards will be announced on 27 September.

The nominees were selected by a jury comprising eminent film personalities such as Amit Khanna, Ila Arun, Kausar Munir, Mayur Puri and Panchhi Jalonvi.

The online interaction which saw the announcement of the nominees also had the participation of Robin Bhatt, president, SWA, Sunil Salgia, general secretary of the association, and lyricist Shellee. The online event of the first list of nominees was hosted by director Sridhar Rangayan. 

Elaborating on the need for instituting the award, Robin Bhatt said, "The reason for this awards is that SWA has always worked for the writers to get the right credit and due. We are working to award writers and poets so that they are respected and they grow in stature. We will keep doing this every year, so that genuine writers win awards for their work."

The nominees for Best Lyricist for a Web and TV show were Shekhar Astitva (Title Track, Radhakrishn), Zama Habib ('Ek Tum Chup Ek Chup Main', Isharo Isharo Mein), Shashank Kunwar ('Pet Bechara', Kulfi Kumar Bajewala), and Majaal ('Rooh' and 'Nishaniya', Lakhon Mein Ek season 2). 

The nominees for Best Lyricist in films saw some familiar and usual suspects including Ankur Tewari and Divine for 'Apna Time Aayega' from Gully Boy (2019), Amitabh Bhattacharya for the title track from Kalank (2019), Divine and Naezy for 'Meri Gully Mein' from Gully Boy (2019), Varun Grover for 'Ruan Ruan' from Sonchiriya (2019), and Manoj Muntashir for 'Teri Mitti' from Kesari (2019).

Lyricist Shellee, who is also spokesperson for the association, said, "It is difficult to imagine films such as Awara (1951), Mera Naam Joker (1970), Guide (1965), Pakeezah (1972), Mughal-e-Azam (1960), Teesri Kasam (1966) without their songs. Songs are the ornaments that adorn our cinema. Their fragrance lends beauty to our ordinary lives. I congratulate the nominees of SWA awards 2020 and wish them the best of luck." 

Lyricist Mayur Puri, who was on the jury, said the selection was not an easy task. He said, "Judging the lyrics of a song is difficult because every song performs a functional duty. The lyricist has already done the job, once it has been shot and recorded. It is not judging if one song is better than the other. There is a scarcity of poets in this country. The effort is to encourage poets to write more, assure them that we are listening, reading, and appreciating your work."

The nominations were followed by a press conference, which saw the members and jury speak about the ongoing struggle of writers and lyricists in the industry. Ila Arun emphasised that writers deserve equal, if not more, importance in the industry as the 'birthgivers' of the idea.

She said, "This is the writer's child first. When a writer writes, he is the one who gives birth first to the idea. Directors are second, now, producers are coming in the way. Credits are often difficult to find. This award function by SWA is a sign that every writer, lyricist should know their rights. Lyricists, screenplay writers, are the first stars of the film." 

Adding to her statement, lyricist Kausar Munir said, "Song credits these days are often like having birth certificates with the father [composer's name] but not the mother [lyricist] name. That wouldn't work."

Speaking of the ongoing fight for copyrights and whether the association will pursue talks with the music industry on the issue, Robin Bhatt said, "We are constantly fighting the issue of copyright. We are trying to get rights for our lyricists. The bigger issue is of lyricists' name not appearing in different platforms. We have written and requested different platforms and producers. But this is a battle, everyone will have to fight for all their life. We will keep fighting till they don't start publishing the writers' name on their own. The writer needs to become strong so that producers are forced to publish the names."

Shellee added, "The fight, and the crusaders, Kausar Munir, Varun Grover, Swanand Kirkire, have been fighting for it. I am a little dejected thinking why we have to fight for this. We should be given this naturally. Every work is a matter of pride and prestige. If we have to fight for it, then I have the question why are music composers not supporting us, or the fraternity not joining us.. Why do we have to make a song 'Credit Do Do Yaar'? A friend asked me 'Why do you have to ask for your rights? Aren't people realising a simple fact?'"

The ceremony for the SWA awards 2020 will take place on 27 September. 

Related topics

SWA Awards