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8th Dubai International Film Festival to honour Indian music composer A. R. Rahman with Lifetime Achievement Honour

Thu Nov 17,2011

Dubai, UAE; November 17, 2011: The eighth Dubai International Film Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, will honour Indian music composer A. R. Rahman with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Winner of two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards and a raft of laurels for his impressive body of work in Indian and international films and music, 45-year-old Rahman is the first musician to be feted by DIFF with its crowning honour.

Described as the ‘Mozart of Madras,’ the south Indian city he hails from, Rahman is among the youngest recipients of DIFF’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which singles out cinema and industry legends from Arab cinema, Asia and Africa, and Europe, the Americas and Australasia, for their contribution to the film industry.

The Indian composer, singer, song-writer, record producer, musician and philanthropist has more than 100 film sound-tracks to his credit in several Indian languages as well as English and Mandarin. His work for Slumdog Millionaire, which was screened at DIFF 2008, won two Academy Awards for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song, while his score for 127 Hours, which screened at DIFF 2010, won him Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Award nominations.

Most recently, he joined forces with Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger on ‘SuperHeavy,’ a supergroup also featuring Joss Stone, Dave Stewart and Damian Marley. Rahman has also cut a number of independent albums, and collaborated with US pop singer Michael Bolton for a track featured in ‘Gems – The Duets Collection.’ He also composed music for the Mandarin film, Warriors of Heaven & Earth. Other international film credits include: Elizabeth: The Golden Age with Craig Armstrong and Couples Retreat.

His impressive body of work in the Indian film industry – in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada languages -  includes all-time hits like Roja, Kadhalan, Bombay (listed in The Guardian’s 1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die); Rangeela, Iruvar, Dil Se, Earth, Taal, Alaipayuthey, Zubeidaa, Lagaan, Yuva, Swades, Mangal Pandey – The Rising, Rang De Basanti, Guru, Jodhaa Akbar, Jaane Tu.. Ya Jaane Na, Ghajini, Delhi 6, Vinnaithandi Varuvaya, and the recent Rockstar.

An Honorary Fellow of the Trinity College of Music, Rahman is a recipient of India’s high civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan, and was named as one of the ‘World’s Most Influential People’ by Time in 2009.


Credited with redefining Indian film music through his inimitable style, Rahman’s soulful compositions blend the intricacies of Western and Indian classical with folk sounds, Qawwali and symphonic orchestral themes, and are anthems for millions of people around the world.

Festival Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said: “A. R. Rahman is an inspiration for countless musicians and composers, and has brought a fresh infusion of talent to the Indian film industry. Through his international foray, working with some of the world’s most accomplished musicians, he demonstrated the power of music to cross all barriers and connect with a global audience.

“We are honoured to present Mr. Rahman with the DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Rahman will also kick off his world tour with a concert in Dubai on December 9; the concert is supported by the Festival.

DIFF, this year, also presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to veteran Egyptian actor Gamil Rateb. Rahman will receive the award during DIFF to be held from December 7 to 14.

Previous Lifetime Achievement honourees at DIFF include Omar Sharif, Adel Imam, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Daoud Abdel Sayed, Youssef Chahine, Rachid Bouchareb, Souleymane Cisse, Nabil El-Maleh, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Terry Gilliam, Yash Chopra, and Subhash Ghai.

The eighth edition of DIFF is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah, home to the Dubai International Film Festival, are the principal sponsors of DIFF. The Festival is supported by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. For more and updated information about DIFF, please visit www.dubaifilmfest.com
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