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Among the Indian contingency, superstar Amitabh Bachchan, who has one of his films (Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam) playing in the festival, came in and charmed the crowds. In 2003, he was honoured by the festival for his contribution to Indian Cinema. This year, he claims, the festival has become prominent. He said, "The biggest honour is that a foreign country is celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema. It shows the importance of our films and how much the world loves us. I hope it continues to be this way."
Director Karan Johar who was attending the film festival for the first time was excited to walk the red carpet. He was amazed at the kind of love the locals had for Indian Cinema. According to him, the entire credit goes to Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. He said, "They are clearly the two icons of our generation." He added, "People all around the world have connected to my work as well as a result of these two superstars. I'm so excited about the fact that people in my hotel where I'm staying know about my movies." Karan also mentioned an interest in shooting his future films in Morroco. "This place is stunning. I've actually put people in my team to go and check out the locations."
Karan was accompanied by his Student of The Year team: Aalia Bhatt, Siddharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan. For newcomers to have their debut film being screened at a festival is a big deal. All three of them rightly agreed. "Hindi films are known for songs, dance and drama and SOTY has all of it," said Aalia. Varun added, "It's great that we can show our film to different countries. Indian emotions are very strong and I hope people catch onto that." "People here aren't going to understand the language, so hopefully they'll understand the movie better with subtitles. We're going to have a lot of fun," said Siddharth.
Hrithik Roshan is the only actor who has four of his films Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam, Agneepath, Jodha Akbar and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara which are being screened at the festival. His excitement was infectious. "I'm still a student of cinema. My industry and cinema is being honoured and it's feels great to be a part of it," he said accompanied by his wife Sussane.
Shah Rukh Khan was sorely missed by the crowds. He is to arrive today and hold a press conference for the delegates. With a host of 34 Indian celebrities which includes actors, directors and producers, this is one of the biggest platforms for Indian Cinema to showcase their work and connect with international delegates.
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