India’s Brightest Stars to Shine on DIFF

Mon Dec 04,2006

This year’s red carpet looks set to sizzle with the hottest, brightest stars in the Bollywood heavens. New up-and-comers will rub shoulders with living legends from December 10 to 17 during DIFF’s third annual star-studded run.

Shivani Pandya, DIFF’s Managing Director, said, “The Dubai and the GCC are fast becoming an important market for Indian cinema, contributing massively to their box office revenues. The festival hopes to assist in the growth of this market and with the support of the Indian Industry and Indian talent we feel we have a winning formula.”

The quintessential Indian actor and celebrity, Shah Rukh Khan, will be a guest of honour at DIFF this year, and will receive a DIFF Salutes trophy for his lifelong contribution to cinema on December 14. During a special presentation entitled A Conversation with Shah Rukh Khan at the Madinat Theatre, Khan will discuss his life work and artistic vision. Of his varied cinematic work, Shah Rukh has chosen to screen Chalte Chalte (2003) and the explosive Main Hoon Ha (2004) at DIFF 2006.

Glamour pusses boosting the glitz quotient on opening night will include Kangana Ranaut (Gangster, 2005), a serious contender for the Bollywood crown. Sameera Reddy, dubbed ‘Mumbai’s Jennifer Lopez’ by director Sanjay Gupta, will lend her assets to the proceedings, and doe-eyed Sushma Reddy, fresh from her star-making stint in Don (2006), will also appear.

The boys are also in town. Heartthrob and former model John Abraham, who made his film debut in 2003, will grace DIFF for the second year running. In 2005, he appeared to boost Deepa Mehta’s controversial masterpiece Water.

Screen legend Dev Anand, the cinema colossus with over over 110 motion pictures to his credit, will lend his considerable weight to DIFF’s proceedings this year, as will Mohan Lal, representing the South. Lal will promote The Duo, the sweeping 1997 film about friendship, betrayal, politics and fame in Tamil Nadu that brought Ashwariya Rai to the world’s attention.

Irfan Khan of The Warrior fame (2001) will promote his new film, Mira Nair’s The Namesake, about the emotional aftermath of an interracial relationship on an Indian family living in the United States.

DIFF runs an annual programming segment called Cinema of the Subcontinent, with the latest in cutting-edge, non-commercial offerings from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. Further information can be found on the festival website at

DIFF 2006 runs from December 10 to 17.

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