The crowd on the opening day of the 12th International Film Festival of Marrakech might have been disappointed at not getting to see Shah Rukh Khan, but on the second day, the star didn’t disappoint them. Before entering the venue, SRK walked past the barricade, shaking hands with his fans, signing autographs and waving out. At one point, when some excited fans tried to grip his coat, the security had to step in and pull him back. On being asked how it felt to have such a fan following in Morocco, he said, “It’s the love. You can only enjoy it.”
Celebrating Indian cinema
On day two, the festival paid tribute to Indian cinema. The Indian contingent, led by Amitabh Bachchan, included Sharmila Tagore, Hrithik Roshan, Arjun Rampal, Sridevi with husband Boney Kapoor, Anurag Kashyap with wife Kalki Koechlin, Karan Johar, Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Malhotra and Alia Bhatt, among others. The evening concluded with the screening of late filmmaker Yash Chopra’s last directorial, Jab Tak hain Jaan.
‘Kareena not converted’, confirms mom-in-law
Sharmila Tagore put all the speculations to rest on whether Kareena converted to Islam for her marriage to Saif Ali Khan. “Kareena
hasn’t converted. Saif put it rightly – it’s love and bonding between two people,” said Tagore, who is one of the nine jury members at the festival.
Monica Bellucci on Devdas
Italian actor Monica Bellucci — a special guest at the festival — was at the event to honour Indian cinema. The actor is surprisingly knowledgeable about Indian cinema, and said that she doesn’t rule out the possibility of doing an Indian film. “The first Hindi film I saw was Devdas (the Shah Rukh Khan one, we’re guessing),” said the actor, adding, “I wonder how Indian actors are so popular in every part of the world. The crowd goes crazy wherever they go,” she said.
Ask her if she is planning to travel to India, and she says, “I’ve never been to India, but I will be there soon.” The writer is at the Marrakech Film Festival by invitation.