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Ali Zafar accompanied by Pakistan’s other rising star Humaima Malik.–Photo Courtesy Lux Style Awards

Glitterati from the film, music, television and fashion industries gathered for the 11th annual Lux Style Awards, which were held at the Expo Centre in Karachi last night.

The show of high-voltage glamour was dominated by the presence of Ali Zafar, who had flown in from India. Not only did he pay a poignant tribute to ghazal legend Mehdi Hassan, with a live rendition of “Mujhay tum nazar se,” he also ended the night with a medley of hit songs from his album “Jhoom” as well as his Bollywood films. Ali was accompanied by Pakistan’s other rising star Humaima Malik and the duo combined to give a performance of a befitting finale that ended on the high notes of “Madhubala”.

A considerably late start led way to a programme that ended well after midnight but the audience were kept thoroughly entertained by host Ahmed Butt, who kept spirits alive by peppering the script with bits of live rap, humour and satire aimed generously at the fashion industry. Once the national anthem was played, a moment of mournful silence was observed for artists who had not been nominated. Butt was joined onstage by Meera, Aamina Sheikh, Mahira Khan, Josh, Faakhir and many others who kept the energy going despite the late hours.

Highlights of the night included a tribute to the unforgettable baritone of Ahmed Rushdi. Pop artists Ahmed Jahanzeb, Amanat Ali and Bilal Khan amongst others lent their vocals to revive some of the biggest hits from the “golden era” of Pakistani cinema. This act was supported by dance performances from Meera, Ahsan Khan, and Mathira.

Pakistan’s first Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was presented an award in recognition of her achievement. Upon being honoured by LSA, Obaid said that no matter where she had been acknowledged in the world, “It’s great to be honoured in my own country.”

When things got down to the real business, award announcements, “Bol” picked up an LSA in every one of the film categories, quite predictably. The award for Best Actress went to Humaima Malik, Manzar Sehbai was picked for Best Actor and the reclusive mastermind Shoaib Mansoor for Best Film. Mahira Khan received the statue on his behalf.

Next up was the vibrant music category. Qurat ul Ain Baloch picked up two awards for the über-popular “Woh humsafar tha”. She also lifted the trophy for Best Original Soundtrack and Song of Year but was not present to receive the award herself. The band Bumbu Sauce won Best Emerging Talent in Music award and Adnan Malik the Best Video Director for “Mera bichra yaar” by Zoe Viccaji and Strings. The trophy for Best Album went to Ali Zafar for “Jhoom”.

While new and emerging music icons like Qayaas, Bilal Khan, Zoe Viccaji and Adil Omar were present and some enthralled the audience with an energetic performance of Pakistan’s new pop songs, established artistes like Strings, Atif Aslam, Hadiqa Kiyani and Ali Azmat were notably absent despite being nominated in various categories. Ali Zafar, Josh and the vivacious generation of youngsters, however, more than made up for their absence.

Awards for television nominations were vast and were interspersed across the length of the entire program. From classic to contemporary, stars including Javed Sheikh, Bushra Ansari, Behroze Sabzwari, Bindiya (who made a comeback in the popular series “Taakay ki ayegi baraat”), Ali Safina, Savera Nadeem, Sanam Baloch and writers/directors such as Momina Duraid and Sarmad Khoosat lifted the event to a great extent. It showed that the way television has consistently flourished over the last six decades certainly makes up for a little of the glory lost in Pakistani cinema.

Amongst the extended list of TV nominations, notable awards went to Noman Ejaz and Faisal Qureshi for Best Actors (for Satellite and PTV), Sanam Baloch and Savera Nadeem for Best Actress, Momina Duraid for Best Serial and Sarmad Khoosat for Best TV Director. It needs to be added that TV play “Humsafar”, despite controversies, did not qualify for nominations for 2011 as a major part of the play ran into 2012.

The highly anticipated fashion nominations brought out the best and brightest stars of the industry. Faiza Samee was given a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions as a revivalist, whereas more than a dozen names in fashion including Kamira Rokni, Sania Maskatiya, Republic by Omar Farooq, Sana Safinaz, Khaadi, Nabila and Rizwan ul Haq picked up awards for their work in 2011. Best Model (Female and Male) went to Cybil Chowdry and Abbas Jafri respectively whereas Asian Institute of Fashion Design graduate Zaheer Abbas was recognised as the Best Emerging Talent in Fashion.