The Lux Style Awards are back with yet another bang. In a press conference at the Marriot Hotel in Karachi, the media was told that the seventh LSA would be held this year, not in a foreign venue like the UAE or Malaysia but rather in the country's cultural capital, Lahore. This is an appropriate choice not least because the city is home to a vast segment of the music and fashion industries of Pakistan and hosts the country's film industry.
Speaking at the occasion Shazia Syed, Vice-President Unilever Pakistan said: "We've always wanted to do an LSA in Lahore and at long last it is a reality. We are very proud of the manner in which the awards have grown over the years and given Pakistani film, TV, music and fashion an international platform to showcase their talent."
Whatever the location, the event is already creating quite a buzz. It's that time of the year again, with controversies, gossip and excitement brewing around the LSA.
But other than the rumour mills working overtime, this year brings a lot more to the event.
The LSA aims to bring something new to the show every year and this year, three major announcements were made at the press conference. One, they have now introduced an annual scholarship scheme for students who want to make it big in the industry through their talent and hard work.
These scholarships will be available for those graduating from the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA), The Asian Institute of Fashion Design (AIFD), Pakistan School of Fashion Design (PSFD) and the National College of Arts (NCA) for their film editing courses.
Composer and actor Arshad Mehmood from NAPA and Asim Amjad of the AIFD were at the press conference and welcomed the scholarship initiative. They emphasised the importance of such scholarships by explaining how they would help their institutes.
After that came the announcement of a technologically advanced system to ensure the integrity of the LSA voting system. The whole idea of voting for your favourite star and getting hooked to minute-to-minute details of the awards has been made digital. The audience were also shown the awards' new website where users can vote online, view clippings for music categories before voting, or check the archives. (The site can be accessed at 7th Lux Styles Awards)
Next to speak was Frieha Altaf, executive producer and creative director of the LSA, who started off with a big thank you to the media for, as she put it, elevating the standard of the award and taking it forward. "The tremendous media interest has given birth to the red carpet as we now know it. When we started off in 2002, it was not an easy task and there was no concept of the red carpet. Thanks to the media and the nominees who work all year round to make the LSA a reality."
The media persons were also shown a 'best-of' programme highlighting the birth and evolution of the awards through the years. Hosted and directed by Adnan Malik, the 15-minute programme was a trip down memory lane and showcased the best and the most entertaining moments of all the six previous award ceremonies. It included gems such as icons Naheed Akhtar, Roona Laila and Babra Sharif performing on stage.
When Instep Today asked Ms Altaf about how this year's LSA is going to be different from the previous ones, she said: "We sure have surprises this year too because we know the competition and of course people's expectations. We have planned something big but revealing it too early will spoil the fun. For this, you just have to wait and watch!"
The event was hosted by Annie Ali Khan, winner of last year's best emerging talent award.
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