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Heralded by Variety magazine as one of the world’s “50 unmissable film festivals“, DIFF has cemented its reputation as the ultimate destination to discover films from the Arab world and beyond. The archive gives you access to the films, juries, galleries, press releases and more from the first edition in 2004 through to the current edition.

Lifetime Achievement Awards 2014

Asha Bhosle


In India, film and music are inseparable. Indian cinema is exceptional in its identity due to the massive influence of music in its films. From composers to musicians and playback singers, the Indian film industry would be impossible to imagine without its musical influence.
This year DIFF presents a Lifetime Achievement Award to one of India’s best-known female playback singers, Asha Bhosle.

Ashaji has been a professional singer for more than seven decades, sung over 12,000 songs, sung for more than 850 films and in over 20 Indian and foreign languages.
Born in1933 into the musical family of Dinanath Mangeshkar, she and her siblings – Lata, Hridaynath, Asha and Usha – established themselves as formidable talents within the Indian music industry, with each one of them demonstrating a unique style and creating a legacy that has defined film music in Indian cinema.

Ashaji’s rise to prominence was gradual, as she worked hard to define her vocal identity that was different from other leading female playback singers of her generation. With hit songs such as “Aaja Aaja Mein Hun Pyar Tera” and “O Mere Sona Re Sona Re” from TEESRI MANZIL (1966), “Piya Tu Ab To Aaja” from CARAVAN (1971) and “Yeh Mera Dil” from DON (1978), she quickly proved that she was versatile, daring and free-spirited in her professional choices and her rendition. Her musical collaborations with the composer R. D. Burman are legendary and feature regularly on any “all-time favourite Indian film songs” lists.

With the double Oscar winner A. R. Rahman, a 62-year-old Ashaji returned to the mainstream musical landscape and proved that age was not going to slow her voice down. She worked with Rahman on several memorable songs including on the soundtrack of the Oscar-nominated LAGAAN (2001).

A lifetime of music, an unforgettable voice, an unparalleled legacy, a wonderful cook, a successful entrepreneur, Ashaji is and always will be an inspiration.

Nour El-Sherif
(1946 – 2015)


Mention the Egyptian acting giant Nour El-Sherif’s name and numerous unforgettable roles played and embodied by him spring to our minds. His characters are vivid and vibrant in the memory and conscience of the Arab people.

Presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Nour El-Sherif (born 1946) is a tribute to one of the most prominent faces of Egyptian and Arab cinema for his rich body of work includes films that have become cornerstones in the history of Egyptian and Arab cinema. He has immortalized characters in Yousef Chahine’s AN EGYPTIAN TALE and THE DESTINY, in Atef El-Tayeb’s BUS DRIVER and BLOOD ON THE ASPHALT and NAJI AL-ALI, in addition to his roles in MY WIFE AND DOG, FINDING AL-SAYYID MARZUQ by Daoud Abdel Saeed and Marwan Hamed’s THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING and several other seminal works in the history of Arab cinema.

After obtaining a diploma from the Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts in 1967, he began his career on stage. His first film role was in PALACE OF DESIRE (1966), an adaptation of Naguib Mahfouz’s second book in “The Cairo Trilogy” and directed by Hasan Imam. From his breakthrough in film to CAIRO TIME (2014), which screens at DIFF, Nour El-Sherif has introduced audiences to several characters that remain beloved to millions in the Arab world and who always remain in anticipation of his next, new role.
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