By Andy Sambidge
Film festival to present Indian composer AR Rahman with lifetime achievement award
The eighth Dubai International Film Festival will honour Indian music composer AR Rahman with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Winner of two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards and a raft of laurels for his impressive body of work in Indian and international films and music, Rahman is the first musician to be feted by DIFF with its crowning honour.
Described as the ‘Mozart of Madras', the south Indian city he hails from, Rahman is among the youngest recipients of DIFF’s Lifetime Achievement Award, aged 45.
The award singles out cinema and industry legends from Arab cinema, Asia and Africa, and Europe, the Americas and Australasia, for their contribution to the film industry.
The Indian composer, singer, song-writer, record producer, musician and philanthropist has more than 100 film sound-tracks to his credit in several Indian languages as well as English and Mandarin.
His work for Slumdog Millionaire, which was screened at DIFF 2008, won two Academy Awards for Best Original Music Score and Best Original Song, while his score for 127 Hours, which screened at DIFF 2010, won him Golden Globe, BAFTA and Academy Award nominations.
Most recently, he joined forces with Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger on ‘SuperHeavy,’ a supergroup also featuring Joss Stone, Dave Stewart and Damian Marley.
His impressive body of work also includes big hits in the Indian film industry while he was named as one of the world’s most influential people by Time in 2009.
Festival chairman Abdulhamid Juma said: “AR Rahman is an inspiration for countless musicians and composers, and has brought a fresh infusion of talent to the Indian film industry.
"Through his international foray, working with some of the world’s most accomplished musicians, he demonstrated the power of music to cross all barriers and connect with a global audience. We are honoured to present Mr. Rahman with the DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award.”
DIFF will also present the Lifetime Achievement Award to veteran Egyptian actor Gamil Rateb.
Previous Lifetime Achievement honourees at DIFF include Omar Sharif, Adel Imam, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Daoud Abdel Sayed, Youssef Chahine, Rachid Bouchareb, Souleymane Cisse, Nabil El-Maleh, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Terry Gilliam, Yash Chopra, and Subhash Ghai.