The Lux Style Awards is an award ceremony held annually in Pakistan since 2002. The awards celebrate "style" in the Pakistani entertainment industry, and it is the oldest event dedicated to cinema, television, fashion, music and film industry in Pakistan. Categories have changed over the years, but most are awarded by panels of judges who are experts in the respective industries, with some "people's choice" awards in the film and TV categories.
The Lux Style Awards were created and developed in 2002 by Naheed Chowdhry, the female executive who headed the Unilever Lux team at the time, in collaboration with Frieha Altaf, TV and event producer and former model. It is the largest annual awards ceremony held in Pakistan as well as the oldest.
"I wanted to ensure that there was a sustainable legacy created that impartially assessed contributors and gave back to society through scholarships in the arts and culture arena", says Chowdhry."One that would go on to be recognized as the 'Oscars' of Pakistan."
The first awards were presented in 2002 at the Naval Base in Karachi, Pakistan due to heightened security and high-profile attendance. The Awards Ceremony was preceded by seven days of exhibitions and fashion shows at different smaller venues throughout Karachi and on Manora island, as a build-up to the final show. Since 2002, the event has been condensed to three days, hosting various events and activities relating to the Pakistan film industry.
The ceremony was postponed in 2008 owing to security concerns and economic conditions, and in the same year, it was decided to provide annual scholarships to students of the National College of Arts (TV and Film), National Academy of Performing Arts (Music) and to two fashion schools.
People's Choice awards for best actor and actress had originally been added to engage audiences viewing the show, but in 2019 it was decided to add critics' choice awards for these categories as well.
The Lux Awards have been televised in most years.
Aminah Haq won Best TV Actress at 3rd Lux Style Awards for her performance in Mehndi. Many thought that Sania Saeed gave a better performance in Thori Si Mohabat that year, and the only reason she lost was that her play was broadcast by a private TV channel (Geo Entertainment). On the other hand, Mehndi was aired on PTV that was widely available all over the country and was more accessible for audiences. So, for 4th Lux Style Awards it was decided that there would be separate acting and play categories for terrestrial and satellite TV channels.
Snub of Zindagi Gulzar Hai in Best TV Play (Satellite) Category
Mahira Khan's Best Film Actress Win for Verna
Mahira Khan was awarded Best Film Actress for Verna at 17th Lux Style Awards. Verna was considered a box office flop and it received mediocre reviews from critics. Many accused LSAs of being rigged as Mahira was the "Lux Girl" at that time.
Punjab Nahi Jaungi was released the same year and became highest grossing Pakistani film of all the time. It also received glowing reviews from critics. Many were disappointed when the presumed front-runner Mehwish Hayat lost the award for her phenomenal performance in Punjab Nahi Jaungi to Mahira.
In response, a statement was released by LSA stating that the Best Film Actress was a audience voted category and Mahira got the most votes that year as she had the biggest social media presence. Next year, LSA introduced critics choice' acting categories for the 18th edition.
Ali Zafar's Nominations at 18th Lux Style Awards
Many celebrities pulled out their nominations from 18th Lux Style Awards in the wake of MeToo movement. Ali Zafar was nominated for Best Film and Best Film Actor that year, many celebrities took to social media to give their support towards Meesha Shafi who previously made sexual harassment allegations against Ali. They urged LSA jury to pull out his nominations. When the jury denied their request many decided not to be a part of the ceremony, celebrities that pulled out their nominations from entertainment categories included:
The Sketches, who were nominated for Best Playback (for "Meri Duniya" from Cake), Best TV Track (for Naulakha), Best Song (for "Raat"), and Best Singer (for "Raat")
Faris Shafi (Meesha's brother) nominated for Best Song (for Clap)
Meesha herself pulled out her Best Singer nomination for Mein
Until 2011, this was chosen by public voting. From 2012 onwards, the winner has been chosen by an LSA jury. Tere Pyaar Mein was the first winner. Every year, LSA jury short lists number of films between 1 and 10. Only those short listed films are nominated in the ceremony. Usually, five films are nominated for Best Film. In 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011, no nominations were announced due to lack of films releases. In 2010 and 2012, no award was given because jury did not find any film worth winning. Three films were nominated in 2001, 2002 and 2008. In 2013, four films were nominated for the award.
Due to category being audience voted many of the groundbreaking dramas like Udaari, Sang-e-Mar Mar and Dar Si Jaati Hai Sila failed to win Best TV Play despite winning in other major categories like Best TV Director and Best TV Writer.