“Bridging Cultures… Meeting Minds…”
was the tag line for the 2nd Dubai International Film Festival – and that’s exactly what the organisers managed to achieve, when they honoured three very distinctly different personalities, from differentcultures
, different mindsets
to their work… with just one simple factor in common – Cinema!
India was aptly represented by a man described by Hannah Fisher (Co-Programmer of DIFF 2005) as the Gentle Giant of Indian Cinema
as she presented the trophy to Yash Chopra under “In the Spotlight” section, along with the Festival Director, Neil Stephenson.
Yash Chopra was honoured along with the Egyptian comedy superstar Adel Imam, and the Oscar Winning actor Morgan Freeman as the Asian, Arab and Hollywood honorees in the Festival’s “In the Spotlight” program, which honours the work of eminent actors, producers and directors from around the world for their distinguished service to the film industry.
The Festival selected 2 films from the Yash Raj Films treasure trove to showcase Yash Chopra’s diversity in handling of his favourite subject – Romance. Lamhe (1991) and Veer-Zaara (2004) were screened to an enchanted crowd.
“I think Veer-Zaara was the perfect choice for this Festival as the film’s theme and the theme of this Festival are in absolute sync – They Bridge Cultures and help in Meeting of Minds”, said Yash Chopra.
Hannah Fisher, the DIFF programmer in charge of the Asian honoree component, said Yash Chopra was “a Bollywood director who has spread his wings far beyond the beautiful scenery of his films.”
“Yash Chopra is a colossus who straddles three worlds easily, effortlessly and with dignity,” Fisher said. “As a director, he has created some of the biggest box office hits in Indian cinema; as a producer behind such films as DDLJ (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge), his company Yash Raj Films has become an integrated studio offering executive producing, financing and distribution; and a distributor, he is turning around a country that does not have a strong tradition of distribution.”
“He is admired because of his accomplishments as a director, as a producer, and as a canny businessman, who has developed and grown his company to the point where it is the largest in India,” she added. “There are many directors in Mumbai throughout the country who produce spectacular work, but Mr. Chopra is highly revered and has a formidable track record.”
The 2nd Dubai International Film Festival ran from 11th to 17th December 2005, and showcased 98 films from 46 countries.