|Country Pakistan||First awarded 1957|
The Nigar Awards (Urdu: انعام نگار) are presented in an annual award show to recognize outstanding achievement in Pakistani cinema. The honor is awarded by the historic Nigar Magazine. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists. The first Nigar Awards ceremony was held in 1957, to honor the accomplishments of Pakistani cinema for the year 1956. In 2002, following the 46th Annual Nigar Awards, Nigar Magazine announced its discontinuation of the awards due to the collapse of the Pakistani cinema industry. After a 15 year hiatus, with the revival of Pakistani cinema, the 47th Nigar Awards were announced to be held on 16 March 2017 in Karachi.
The Nigar Awards were introduced in 1957 by Ilyas Rashidi, also known as Baba-e-Filmi Sahafat (translation: Pioneer of Film Journalism) in Pakistan. The award was an extension of the Nigar Magazine, which was also founded by Rashidi in 1948 and was Pakistan’s first weekly newspaper dedicated solely to Pakistani cinema. Ilyas Rashidi acquired experience in entertainment journalism through his association with Umer Azad (his older brother) and his daily newspaper Anjum, which had shifted its offices from Delhi to Karachi in 1947. Ilyas had been inspired by Filmfare magazine and thus purchased a children's magazine Monthly Nigar from his friend Ibne Hassan Nigar, and re-branded it as a weekly film magazine from Karachi. The first award distribution ceremony was held on 17 July 1957 at Evernew Studios in Lahore.
Ilyas Rashidi had initially chosen the design of a lady statuette and the Nigar Awards continued with this award from 1957 to 1977. During the Islamic dictatorial rule of President General Zia-ul-Haq and his regime, the statue design was changed into a textual design. In 2017, the 47th Nigar Awards will revert back to the original award design.
Instead of the usual practice of envelope opening, the award committee prints the names of the winners on the back of the invitation cards that are sent to all invitees. This removes the charm of suspenseful moments for the attendees. Despite all this, the award committee has strict rules of only considering the candidacy of those films and television shows that are nominated for the awards and their copies are provided by the filmmakers or distributors to the Awards Committee of Nigar Awards. The Nigar Awards are also known for their impartial assessment and unbiased attitude as compared with other high-level awards in Pakistan for the public entertainment media. Another prominent factor of the awards is that, over time, various categories from both television and film industry that have been included to cover such subjects as Urdu, Punjabi and Pashto and Sindhi films.
The Nigar Awards are divided into Urdu, Pashto, Punjabi and Sindhi sections, which each section having several categories: