The 11th gala of the Standard Chartered-The Daily Star Celebrating Life was held on October 12, 2018 at the International Convention City, Bashundhara. Editor and Publisher of The Daily Star, Mahfuz Anam inaugurated the event by delivering the welcoming speech. In his speech, Mahfuz Anam said, “Journalism is an all-absorbing profession. However, events as such also fall into a broader world of journalism, as no nation is truly complete without the practice of liberal arts and creativity”.
Veteran film personality Hasan Imam, legendary singer Runa Laila and iconic actor Aly Zaker, three heavyweights of their field of work received the Standard Chartered-The Daily Star Celebrating Life 'Lifetime Achievement Award'. They were all presented with the awards on stage at the gala.
The vote of thanks for the event was delivered by Naser Ezaz Bijoy, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank, Bangladesh. In his speech, Naser Ezaz Bijoy said, “Even though the last 11 years of Celebrating Life has given us a lot of memorable moments, being able to discover talented individuals from the remotest parts of Bangladesh will always be the highlight for me.”
A photo exhibition was held, using the photos taken by the winners of the Celebrating Life photography contest. The exhibition was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Hon'ble Minister for Cultural Affairs, Asaduzzaman Noor, MP.
Like every year, the Celebrating Life contest had a specific theme. This year's theme was Architecture Marvels of Bangladesh, a topic many contestants described as different and unique. The winners were taken on stage to receive their awards. For photography, Md. Abu Rasel Rony took home the 1st prize and Md. Nazmul Hasan Khan and Amit Rudro won 2nd and 3rd place. Honourable Mentions included Md Saud Al Faisal, Supratim Das, Subrata Dey, Azim Khan Ronnie, Syed Mahabubul Kader, Tausif Rahman, Md.Zakirul Mazed Konok, Subhashis Bhowmik and Subhashis Bhowmik. In the lyrics section of the competition, Salma Aktar won the 1st place, and Moniruzzaman Palash and Bishan Mitra placed 2nd and 3rd. The honourable mentions for lyrics included Jahidul Islam, Mobarak Hossen, Mohsin Ahmed and Yousuf Jamil. For the Best Debut Fiction Film, Chowdhury Asif Jahangir Arko won the award.
Shovon Mim received the Honourable Mention. For the Best Documentary Debut, Ram Krishna Shaha triumphed with Mainul Hossain Sagar as the Honourable Mention. The winners of the lyrics and photography contests took home Tk. 1,00,000 each. The runners-up received Tk. 75,000 each and third place winners took home Tk. 50,000 each. The winner for the Best Debut Fiction Film won Tk. 2,00,000 and winner for Best Documentary Debut won Tk. 50,000. The acclaimed dance troupe, Shadhona performed at the gala. Baul Shahjahan Munshi, Oyshee & Borno, Mitali Mukherjee and Band Lalon then serenaded the audience with their melodies. The song performed by Oyshee and Borno has been written by Salma Aktar, Winner of the Standard Chartered-The Daily Star Celebrating Life 2018 Lyrics Contest and the music has been composed by Fahmida Nabi. The Standard Chartered-The Daily Star Celebrating Life tour will now commence across the nation, where all the winning photographs and films will be displayed. Those who want to participate in the next Standard Chartered-The Daily Star Celebrating Life contest can keep an eye on The Daily Star newspaper and the Celebrating Life website, web link, http://www.celebratinglifebd.com.