Jatinder Verma at ACTAs 2017
Tara Arts artistic director Jatinder Verma (centre) received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts at the Eastern Eye ACTAs 2017. Pictured with Eastern Eye editor in chief Ramnikal Solanki (left) and executive editor Shailesh Solanki.


Tara Arts artistic director Jatinder Verma took home the top prize at the Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Awards (ACTAs) on Sunday (21), gaining recognition for his four decades long contribution to British theatre.

Speaking at the event, cultural minister Matt Hancock said: “(Tonight) is not just a celebration of those who are here and are nominated. It is a celebration of Asian arts and culture in all of its forms. It’s a celebration of the richness and vitality that you bring to this great nation with through arts and culture.

“Let us hope that the strong foundation of the bonds which tie us together also allow us to have confidence in the celebration of our diversity as a nation. How each individual is beautifully unique and how we are at our finest when we are strong and open and looking out to the whole world.”

Hosted by Eastern Eye and now in its second year, the ACTAs celebrate the best of British Asian arts and culture throughout the former year.

17 awards were presented throughout the evening for categories spanning theatre, literature, film, music and comedy, among other mediums.

Other artists performed as well, including dancer Aakash Odedra, hip-hop duo Hype and Fever and comedian Sindhu Vee, who was presented with the Eastern Eye Award for Comedy earlier in the evening.

Those who received an award at the ACTAs included:

Eastern Eye Award for Arts: Nayan Kulkarni for Blade

Eastern Eye Award for Dance: Akram Khan

Eastern Eye Award for Literature: Abir Mukherjee for A Rising Man

Eastern Eye Award for Music: Anoushka Shankar

Eastern Eye Award for Photography: Amit and Naroop

Eastern Eye Award for Radio: Sangita Myska

Eastern Eye Award for Comedy: Sindhu Vee

Eastern Eye Award for Best Director: Gurinder Chadha for The Viceroy’s House

Eastern Eye award for Best Production: Tamasha Theatre for Made in India

Eastern Eye Emerging Artist Award: Ambreen Razia

Eastern Eye Award for Film, Best Actress: Sanam Saeed for Rahm

Eastern Eye Award for Theatre, Best Actress: Rina Fatania for Love N Stuff

Eastern Eye Award for Theatre, Best Actor: Emilio Doorgasingh for The Kite Runner

Eastern Eye Award for TV, Best Actress: Manjinder Virk for Midsomer Murders

Eastern Eye Award for TV, Best Actor: Adeel Akhtar for Murdered By My Father

Eastern Eye People’s Choice Award: Riz Ahmed

Eastern Eye Editor’s Special Award: Tate Modern for the Bhupen Khakhar exhibition

Eastern Eye Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts: Jatinder Verma