The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced this year's festival will honour Indian screen legend Amitabh Bachchan with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to cinema, as part of the DIFF Honouree programme.
Voted the most popular actor in the world, the Bollywood icon’s appeal transcends borders, with a global fan base stretching far beyond the SubContinent. Credited as the man who broke the mould of the Hindi film industry, The ‘Big B’ – who has appeared in 180 films to date – has overcome all initial obstacles to redefine the Indian film landscape.
DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said words such as ‘legend’ and ‘icon’ can be overused, but in Amitabh Bachan’s case, they are totally deserved.
“No one from Indian Cinema has made a bigger impact on the world,” he said. “The Lifetime Achievement Award is recognition for an artist whose performances have inspired billions- going well beyond his intended audiences from the sub-continent. Honouring Amitabh Bachchan is akin to celebrating an institution with an everlasting impact on generations spanning across the Middle East and the rest of the world.”
From his debut in Saath Hindustani, through power-packed performances in Zanjeer, Agneepath, and Sarkar Raj, to the most-recent and anticipated Paa, Bachchan has stood out as an actor without parallel.
After superstar status for 20 years, he hosted the popular TV quiz series Kaun Banega Crorepati? – the Hindi version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire – which further put him right back in the spotlight, cemented by the success of films such as Mohabbatein and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham in the nineties.
Life for the 67-year-old star hasn’t been limited to acting. He has previously served as a Member of Parliament and launched a multi-faceted commercial enterprise, Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Limited (ABCL), which is engaged in production, distribution and all other aspects of the movie industry.
Thanking DIFF, Amitabh Bachchan said the Lifetime Achievement Award is an honour for the strong and centuries-old cultural affiliations that the Indian Subcontinent shares with the Arab world, and the deep sense of appreciation and respect Dubai has showered on people from the region.
“I strongly believe that cinema has the power to influence people and bring all of us together for a greater purpose – of peace, brotherhood and solidarity. By showcasing films from around the world and creating a platform for healthy dialogue, DIFF has taken cinema to its next level of social relevance. Personally, I am humbled by this recognition from Dubai, a city I consider as my second home.”
DIFF Honouree is a retrospective tribute that celebrates the work of distinguished film makers from Asia, the Arab world, and Hollywood. In the past years, DIFF has honoured several illustrious film personalities including Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman, Arab actor Adel Emam and Indian producer-director Yash Chopra.
Now in its sixth year, DIFF 2009 is held in association with Dubai Studio City. Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Pearl, Emirates Airline and Madinat Jumeirah are the principal sponsors and the event is supported by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).