The fourth Eastern Eye Arts, Culture & Theatre Awards (ACTAs) winners have been revealed at the glittering gala awards night on Friday 21st June at the May Fair Hotel, London. The evening was hosted by award-winning broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake.

The ACTAs celebrate diverse talent in the arts and entertainment, with categories spanning a wide range of disciplines and showcasing a world of talent. The list of winners for 2019 were another eclectic mix of popular household names and critically acclaimed emerging talents who excel in their respective fields.

Leading the charge of 2019’s winners, the Theatre categories saw some notable triumphs for EastEnders favourite Nitin Ganatra, crowned Best Actor for theatre production ‘End of the Pier’ and Coronation Street actress Shobna Gulati who picked up Best Actress for her role in ‘Richard II’. Acclaimed theatre director Indhu Rubasingham won Best Director for her adaptation of ‘White Teeth’, the best-selling novel by Zadie Smith, whilst ‘Tartuffe’ by the Royal Shakespeare Company picked up the Best Production.

The hotly contested categories for Comedy and Contemporary Music were won by popular comedian Paul Chowdhry and chart-topping producer Naughty Boy respectively whilst the TV and Film acting categories were awarded to Ash Tandon (‘Bodyguard’) and Priyanga Burford (‘Press’).

Star of hit BBC TV show ‘Dr Who’, Mandip Gill won the People’s Choice Award, as voted for by the public, with the Emerging Artist Award going to Antonio Aakeel, star of independent British comedy film ‘Eaten by Lions’.

In his welcoming speech, Amit Roy, Editor-at-Large, Eastern Eye and Chairman of the ACTA judging panel said: “I would urge Asian parents to encourage a love of theatre, movies, dance, drama, painting, photography and, above all, books in their children for another reason. It is spiritually nourishing – and will add to the sum total of happiness in Britain.”

Nihal Arthanayake said: “The need to support the arts is vital and Asian Media Group is honoured to be saluting the very best artists this evening.”

Stars who have attended the ACTAs in previous years have included Anita Rani, Meera Syal, Anoushka Shankar, Sacha Dhawan, Dr Ranj Singh, George Alagiah and this year’s event proved another memorable occasion with several stars from screen and stage attending the evening to celebrate the success of well-known stars and emerging talents from the British Asian community.

The full list of winners are below:

Eastern Eye Award for Arts
Winner: The Singh Twins for Rule Britannia: Legacies of Exchange
Bharti Kher for The Intermediary Family
Matthew Krishanu for The Sun Never Sets

Eastern Eye Award for Dance
Winner: Sonia Sabri for Virago
Mavin Khoo for Man to Monk
Seeta Patel for Not Today’s Yesterday

Eastern Eye Award for Literature
Winner: Preti Taneja for We That Are Young
Amit Dhand for City of Sinners
Gautam Malkani for Distortion

Eastern Eye Award for Photography
Winner: Suki Dhanda for Race, Place and Diversity by the Seaside
Nitin Sachania for Breastfeeding in Public Places
Ram Shergill for Exoskeleton, curated by Daen Palma Hus

Eastern Eye Award for Comedy
Winner: Paul Chowdhry for Live Innit
Imran Yusuf for Saint, Sinner, Sufi
Mawaan Rizwan for Juice
Tez Ilyas for Teztify

Eastern Eye Award for Best Presenter
Winner: Rana Mitter for Chinese Characters
Bobby Friction for Pump Up The Bhangra: The Sound of Asian Britain
Nadiya Hussain for Nadiya’s Family Favourites

Eastern Eye Award for Best Production
Winner: Tartuffe by the Royal Shakespeare Company
Dishoom! by Rifco Theatre Company
Three Sat Under the Banyan Tree by Tara Arts and Polka Theatre

Eastern Eye Award for Best Director
Winner: Indhu Rubasingham for White Teeth
Iqbal Khan for Tartuffe
Pravesh Kumar for Dishoom!

Eastern Eye Award for Best Scriptwriter
Winner: Vinay Patel for Doctor Who: Demons of the Punjab
Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto for Tartuffe
Iman Qureshi for The Funeral Director

Eastern Eye Emerging Artist Award – supported by Arts Council England
Winner: Antonio Aakeel for Eaten by Lions
Bally Gill for Romeo and Juliet
Shareefa Energy for Grenfell One Year Later

Eastern Eye Community Engagement Award
Winner: The Queen’s Gallery for Splendours of the Subcontinent, curated by Emily Hannam and Kajal Meghani
Artists in Residence for their Promoting Creativity in Education programme, founded by Andria Zafirakou
Manchester Art Gallery for Speech Acts: Reflection-Imagination-Repetition, curated by Hammad Nasar with Kate Jesson

Eastern Eye Award for Traditional Music
Winner: Sanju Sahai for outstanding achievement in Indian classical music
Chandra Chakraborty for excellency in performing Indian classical music
Shammi Pithia for About The Elephant

Eastern Eye Award for Contemporary Music
Winner: Naughty Boy for Bungee Jumping
Niraj Chag for The Captive Queen
Susheela Raman for Ghost Gamelan

Eastern Eye Award for Theatre, Best Actor
Winner: Nitin Ganatra for End of the Pier
Asif Khan for Tartuffe
Simon Nagra for Tartuffe

Eastern Eye Award for Theatre, Best Actress
Winner: Shobna Gulati for Richard II
Anjana Vasan for An Adventure
Sophie Khan Levy for Hanna

Eastern Eye Award for Film, TV & Drama, Best Actor – supported by London Town Group
Winner: Ash Tandon for Bodyguard
Ray Panthaki for Marcella
Sid Akbar Ali for Polterheist

Eastern Eye Award for Film, TV & Drama, Best Actress
Winner: Priyanga Burford for Press
Kiran Sonia Sawar for Pure
Maya Sondhi for Line of Duty

Eastern Eye People’s Choice Award – supported by Media Hive and voted for by the public and Eastern Eye readers
Winner: Mandip Gill for acting
Hussain Manawer for poetry
Jameela Jamil for female empowerment
Jasmin Walia for music
Nadiya Hussain for TV presenting
Naughty Boy for music
Dr Ranj Singh for TV presenting
Romesh Ranganathan for comedy

Eastern Eye Editor’s Special Award – supported by Eastern Eye
Winner: Aga Khan Centre

Eastern Eye Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Creative Industry – supported by Edwardian Hotels London
Winner: Sudha Bhuchar and Kristine Landon-Smith

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