Screenwriters Association unveils jury for lyrics category of SWA Awards 2020

Amit Khanna, Ila Arun, Kausar Munir, Mayur Puri and Panchhi Jalonvi are part of the jury.

MUMBAI: Screenwriters Association (SWA), the Indian guild of screenwriters and lyricists, today unveiled the final jury which has selected nominees and winners of the lyrics category of SWA Awards, 2020. The first ever SWA Awards to honour writers of Hindi feature films, TV shows, web series and lyrics will be held online on 27 September 2020.

The jury comprises of eminent lyricists such as Amit Khanna (Chalte Chalte, Des Pardes), Ila Arun (Mandi, Well Done Abba!), Kausar Munir (Ishaqzaade, Bajrangi Bhaijaan), Mayur Puri (Pyar Ke Side Effects, Any Body Can Dance) and Panchhi Jalonvi (Ra.One, Baaghi 3). 

SWA president Robin Bhatt said, “Antaras and mukhdas of iconic songs have stayed in our hearts long after the curtains fell. It is time to honour and celebrate those incredible lyricists whose poetry gives language to the hidden feelings of the average person.” 

SWA Awards 2020 will select two winners for the lyrics category: best lyricist for feature film and best lyricist for TV serial/original series. From 146 entries across Hindi feature films and TV serials/web series released in 2019, the three-member pre-jury shortlisted 15 contenders for each category. From among those 30, the final jury then selected five nominees for each category. These will be announced online on 10 September 2020.

SWA awards committee chairperson Sridhar Rangayan said, “Even as lyricists are currently fighting for their due credit on online platforms, we at SWA would like to acknowledge and celebrate their work. SWA is confident that the selections are perfect as the lyrics pre-jury and the lyrics final jury consists of very eminent lyricists.”

Applauding SWA Awards, lyricist, singer, producer and jury member Amit Khanna said, “These awards, judged by the writers' own peers, will in the years to come become the hallmark of excellence in filmed entertainment.”

Singer, lyricist and actor as well as jury member Ila Arun said, “The jury didn't see the song in isolation but valued it vis-a-vis the story of the film. The process was transparent and lengthy, and the final decision was unanimous.”

Lyricist and jury member Panchhi Jalonvi said, “It is a matter of pride for all of us that SWA, the most respected organisation in the Hindi film industry, which has been committed to the rights of screenwriters for the last sixty years, is now launching SWA Awards for and by the writers.” 

Screenwriter, lyricist, filmmaker and jury member Mayur Puri said, "Respect of one's peers is the highest form of recognition an artist can have.”

Each jury member read the lyrics and heard the shortlisted songs individually, marking scores according to a pre-determined set of criteria, focusing on the merit of the craft, ignoring the song’s popularity or commercial success. Then, in the online jury meeting, they jointly deliberated on their choices to finally come up with the list of nominees and winners. 

Summing up the experience, lyricist and jury member Kausar Munir said, “The first-ever SWA Awards are truly democratic because they are of, by and for the writers. I hope, in years to come, they become a binding and bonding platform for the screenwriters’ community.”

SWA is holding the first-ever SWA Awards on the occasion of its Diamond Jubilee year in 2020. Since they are judged by knowledgeable screenwriters and lyricists, these awards promise to become the most coveted validation for writers in India, much like the awards of other prestigious international writers’ guilds and literary organisations. Originally scheduled to be held in Mumbai on 16 May  this year, the ceremony will now be held online to protect the health and safety of all participants and attendees during the ongoing Covid2019 pandemic, on September 27 at SWA’s social media handles: 

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