The Lux Style Awards (LSAs) are set to take place in Lahore this month and one can sense the excitement mounting.

The country’s oldest entertainment-based awards ceremony may have its share of supporters and naysayers but regardless, an LSA win remains highly coveted, with nominations dissected at length as soon as they are revealed.

This time, though, the awards ceremony has also met another kind of conjecture: an announcement made just a month prior to the show declared that last year’s show director HSY is no longer on board and we wondered who would be able to hold the reins now and put together a show at such short notice.

Also read: I can’t ask big stars to work for less money, says HSY on his split from Lux Style Awards

According to our sources, this rather harrowing task – and honour – has now been undertaken by ex-model turned show director and choreographer Vaneeza Ahmed. The stage will be designed by J&S event management, as it was last year.

Frieha Altaf who, until last year, had been LSA’s longtime show director is also orchestrating two segments for the show - the opening and the finale. Frieha recently talked about having been a victim of abuse in her childhood and she is about to launch a movement dedicated to defending human rights. The segments that she has planned out for the LSAs will serve as a launchpad for the movement and is going to follow the hashtag #MaiBhi and the tag lines, ‘Ham nahi tau kon’ (If not us, then who?) and ‘Abhi nahin toh kabhi nahin’ (Now or never).

We hear that Frieha will be bringing on board celebrities who will be discussing different issues, such as actor Ahsan Khan who has of late dedicated himself to speaking against child abuse.

“All I can say at this point is that the show is going to have a very different format although it’s still going to be characteristically sophisticated,” said Vaneeza.

Vaneeza Ahmed and HSY do a spot of co-hosting at the ARY Film Awards
Vaneeza Ahmed and HSY do a spot of co-hosting at the ARY Film Awards

According to a statement issued earlier by Unilever Marketing Director Raheel Pasha, this year’s show was going to bring focus on ‘social awakening’ and ‘stand in solidarity with the nation’ at this ‘critical time’.

We are assuming that this might mean that the LSAs will be somewhat following the lines of the recent Golden Globes, highlighting the #metoo campaign making waves around the world and particularly rallying against the recent child abuse incidents to have unfortunately surfaced in Pakistan. The need to seek out justice for Zainab, the seven-year old child who was raped and murdered in Kasur, only recently shook the nation and perhaps the LSAs will endeavour to begin conversations against child abuse.

LSA 2018 may feature little or no Bollywood-esque song and dance routines and one may not really mind given how repetitive recent awards shows have been.

This probably means that there will be little or no Bollywood-esque song and dance routines and one may not really mind this given how repetitive recent awards shows have been. And in these sordid times, every platform needs to work towards bringing about change.

However, when he stepped away from the LSAs, HSY had implied that the show was facing budgetary issues. This is, perhaps, a sad obstacle that every major event in Pakistan encounters, grappling with political red tape, conservative critique and budgetary issues every time an effort is made to raise the bar. We hope that the title sponsor for the LSAs realises the considerable clout the show has in the country and gives it the space to grow.

Coming back to the upcoming show, are the LSAs aiming to put forward a small but impactful ceremony this year ? Or is it still going to be a grand show with the country’s finest glitterati in attendance?

We hope that the latter case turns out to be true. As the country’s oldest awards montage, the LSA’s need to deliver nothing less.

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