The curtain raiser of the Dubai International Film Festival 2017 (DIFF) began by presenting the Honorary Award to veteran actor Irrfan Khan, on December 6. While accepting the award he stated, “I’m not good at remembering names, I sometimes forget my own name, and I don’t care about awards, unless they are genuine.”
Cate Blanchett (Carol, Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Sir Patrick Stewart (Star Trek and X-Men franchises) and Egyptian writer Wahid Hamed (the Yacoubian Building) were the others from the film fraternity to be honoured with awards at the ceremony. Even Sonam Kapoor was present at the event and walked the red carpet in a classy white jacket casually thrown over an all-white gown.
The 14th DIFF festival is all set to screen 140 films from 51 nations. The festival has a strong Indian and South Asian presence this year. Anup Singh’s Song of Scorpions, Dipesh Jain’s In the Shadows and Piyush Panjuani’s 5 Rupyah (5 rupees), are the Indian films to be screened this year. Iranian director Majid Majidi’s Beyond the Clouds, shot in Bombay, is also considered to be the highlight of the festival. There are two more prominent and much talked about films set in Pakistan: Sarmad Masud’s My Pure Land and Iram Haq’s Hva Vil Folk Si (What Will People Say?), a Norwegian film set in Norway and Pakistan.
Irrfan Khan starrer Song of Scorpions along with Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani will also be screened in this festival. Directed by Anup Singh, the film also stars Waheeda Rehman. Dipesh Jain’s In the Shadow, a compelling psychological drama set in old Delhi, stars the talented Manoj Bajpayee, Shahana Goswami, Ranvir Shorey, Neeraj Kabi and debutant Om Singh. Majid Majidi’s much-awaited film Beyond the Clouds, a moving story about the power of forgiveness features Ishaan Khattar ( Shahid Kapoor’s half-brother) and Malavika Mohanan.
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