x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai film festival will honour Amitabh Bachchan

One of Bollywood's biggest stars will be presented with a lifetime achievement award at next month's Dubai International Film Festival.

Amitabh Bachchan will receive a lifetime achievement award at next month's Dubai film festival.
Amitabh Bachchan will receive a lifetime achievement award at next month's Dubai film festival.

DUBAI // Amitabh Bachchan, one of Bollywood's biggest stars, will be presented with a lifetime achievement award at next month's Dubai International Film Festival. Bachchan, 67, who is known affectionately as "the Big B" and whose work spans five decades, will be honoured "for his outstanding contribution to cinema". The actor said he was "humbled" by the honour, especially as it comes from Dubai, "a city I consider as my second home".

"Cinema has the power to influence people and bring all of us together for a greater purpose - of peace, brotherhood and solidarity," he said in a statement. "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." A festival spokesman said Bachchan had confirmed he would be in Dubai to accept the trophy. It will be presented on the opening night, December 9.

In an online poll conducted by the BBC in 1999, Bachchan was voted the millennium's greatest star of stage or screen. Abdulhamid Juma, the chairman of the DIFF, said words such as "legend" and "icon" could be overused, but were in Bachchan's case 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 subcontinent.

"Honouring Amitabh Bachchan is akin to celebrating an institution, who has had an everlasting impact on generations spanning across the Middle East and the rest of the world." His latest film, Paa, will be released in cinemas next week. sbhattacharya@thenational.ae