Dubai is clearly the place to be next week for Bollywood fans. Firstly, there’s the Southern Dreamz extravaganza, a two-day show at the Dubai Cricket Ground that will see superstars Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Celina Jaitley, Neetu Chandra, Neha Dhupia, Tanushree Dutta and Reema Sen performing along with item girl specialists Negar Khan and Mumaith Khan – a good time is guaranteed for all and a 30,000 sell-out crowd expected. Sridevi will be the guest of honour for the event and the show is to anchored by Boman Irani and Mona Singh. “The bowl design of the stadium allows all seats to have a great view of the centre stage action along with remarkable acoustics,” said Maqbul Dhudia of Sports City.
This is then followed by the Dubai International Film Festival from December 9th-16th, not even bigger than ever with over 200 movies being shown in a week from around 70 countries. During the event, Amitabh Bachchan will be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award, something he considers a great honour as he thinks of Dubai as his 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.
The Festival itself will show a number of Indian movies including Nandita Das’ stunning Firaaq about the 2002 Gujurat riots; Deepa Mehta’s Heaven on Earth with a heartbreaking performance from Preity Zinta; Prakash Rai’s remarkable drama Kanchivaram which also features Shreya Reddy; Mammootty’s intense drama Ore Kadal with Meera Jasmine; Oru Pennam Randaanum with Sukumari and Neil Nitin Mukesh in Tere Kya Hog Johnny.
In addition, there are Festival favourites Slumdog Millionaire; Valu the Bull; Yes Madam Sir – the tale of India’s first policewoman Kiran Bedi; Deepa Mehta’s The Forgotten Woman, about the plight of widows in India; the Bengali western The Last Thakur; the animated Sita Sings The Blues; Nandita Das’ Ramchand Pakistani and my tip for the top, the Sri Lankan comedy Machan about a group of young men who decide on a cunning plan to help them seek asylum in Germany.