Deepak Lamba CEO of Worldwide Media, Rizwan Sajan founder and Chairman Danube Group and Deepika Padukone. (Supplied Photo)

FILMFARE NIGHT ROCKS IT, BABY. Glamour walked the red carpet. The scene was Bollywood park, Dubai. The occasion: the first Filmfare Awards night in the Gulf. The magazine, historically the favourite film periodical in India played host to tinsel stars and celebs who brought with them their splendor and fans and eager autograph hunters gathered hours in advance hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite actors. The host: Rizwan Sajan, the new owner of the title … reports Asian Lite News.

Deepika Padukone (Supplied Photo)

The glittering event showcase class, luxury, panache and some truly spectacular moments with the presence of reigning super stars from Indian and Pakistani cinema: Walking the carpet were  Deepika Padukone, Karan Johar, Fawad Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Manish Malhotra, Jackie Shroff, Dia Mirza along with Founder and Chairman of Danube Group Mr. Rizwan Sajan and the crème de la crème of Dubai.

Singers like Armaan Malik, Aman Malik, Usha Uthup and Bappi Lahiri raised the tempo of the evening by hitting on the high notes, while performing live in their own style enthralling crowds.

Knocking everyone socks off, the truly talented Bharti Singh got the crowds to laugh out loud. A tribute to the veteran actor Sridevi was one of the highlights of the evening followed by numerous felicitations of the leading stars.

Something haute described the atmosphere verey well; You know it’s a mega show when you have the media’s favourite stars like Fawad Khan, Karan Johar and Deepika Padukone in attendance. Here’s what happened before, inside and after the show; we take you behind the scenes, access you won’t get just from pictures…

Bollywood stars Jackie Shroff, Deepika Pudkone and Director Karan Johar during the Filmfare Awards night in the Gulf (Supplied Photo)

Jackie Shroff was the first one to arrive at the venue and he looked super stylish in a blue floral jacket. I asked him for a quick statement to which he graciously said, “Why not?” And when I started with ‘India and Pakistani stars …’ (without letting me finish my question), he said ‘Kya?’ And walked away. I’m not sure why he did that but what I loved about him was that he stopped by everyone waving at him behind the fence and spent almost 20 minutes on the red carpet and took a picture with each and everyone who asked for it.

Pooja Hegde, Javed Sheikh, Raza Murad and Dia Mirza during the Filmfare Awards night in the Gulf (Supplied Photo)

Then came Dia Mirza followed by Javed Jaffery and Bappi Lahri. Karan Johar, Fawad Khan and Manish Malhotra decided to board the buggy, which seemed no less than a royal arrival. I am sure anyone would have killed to board that million-dollar ride. Fawad Khan, obviously was the hot favorite whose arrival was just few seconds before Deepika Padukone’s buggy arrived. Mehwish Hayat was the last one to enter but looked like the wait was worth it. I also spotted a lost soul in Hasnain Lehri, with whom I just exchanged a quick Hello!

Inside the hall, the agenda was driven by music and back to back felicitations. A beautiful tribute was paid to the late Sridevi followed by a montage of her legacy. The legendary singer Usha Uthup raised the energy level of the event with her club songs from the 80’s including ‘Rambha Ho’ and ‘Nache Nache’ and then it got a little emotional when the glam diva Kalpana Iyer from that era was asked to join on the stage, which created a sort of historic moment.”

Pakistani actress, model and singer Mehwish Hayat and Adel Sajan, Director Danube Group (Supplied Photo)

Several spellbinding and well-crafted and choreographed dance performances and musical mini-concerts created a three-hour spectacle in entertainment. The outstanding decor, the lighting and special effects on stage were dazzling at best and the audience lapped it all up.

The hugely talented and truly stunning Deepika Padukone unveiled the cover of the first issue of the edition of this magazine venture  at the event.

The proud owner Mr. Rizwan Sajan spoke to the full house, emphasising his delight at the presence of so many famous people at this function.  “Filmfare Middle East is a cult brand and it was my dream to revive this brand. We started this venture because we believed that this magazine holds an essence for the cinema and a huge readership among its target audience. We’re grateful to our readers and advertisers for their loyal support. Hope, the magazine will keep the same old spirit.”

Jafza CEO Mohammed Al Muallem, Deepika Padukone and Rizwan Sajan- Founder and Chairman Danube Group (Supplied Photo)

He further added: “I would like to personally thank each star for taking out time from their busy schedule. Additionally, kudos to my whole team for leaving  no stone unturned in setting up  this fabulous event.”

The new avatar of the magazine will be catering predominantly to the large Asian expatriate population in the UAE and the GCC, as well as a significant Arab population who love their cinema and celebrities. Part of the issue will be in Arabic.

Her Excellency Sheikha Dr. Hind Al Qassimi, Karan Johar and Anis Sajan, MD Danube Group (Supplied Photo)

 “Filmfare ME sets the benchmark for content in the Middle East. It has been launched by a group that is visionary and foresighted about its business. Under Starz Media Incorporation supported by the Danube Group, the magazine will flourish and make a mark in Middle East.”



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