Shah Rukh Khan was honoured at the second edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah. The actor was among a host of celebrities from across the world including American actor Sharon Stone, British director Guy Ritchie, iconic filmmaker Oliver Stone and Egyptian icon Yousra. AR Rahman, Kajol and Priyanka Chopra also attended the event.
As Shah Rukh accepted his award, he addressed the gathering in Arabic. “First of all, my attempt at Arabic here…’ and greeted the crowd as they burst into an applause.
His fans on Twitter were quite impressed by his language skills and wrote, “The way @iamsrk speaks in Arabic I am in love with him.” Another fan wrote, “your innocent attempt to make it sound right makes it even cuter @iamsrk .” “Your Arabic was on point! Loved it, music to my ear, I was watching with my mother & sister & they were mesmerized 🥰”
The actor also addressed other icons present at the event. While he asked Ritchie for an autograph, he said if Stone let him sit with her, he promises to look at her for the rest of his life. Coincidentally, Stone and SRK were seated together and her reaction as the actor takes his seat is going viral. Sharon Stone is clearly overwhelmed as she gestures with an open mouth.
Shah Rukh spoke about how films are his life and how “film is the language in which the modern world converses.” He said, “I am truly honored to receive this award from the Red Sea International Film Festival. It’s wonderful to be here among my fans from Saudi and the region who have always been huge supporters of my films. I’m looking forward to celebrating the region’s talent and being a part of this exciting film community.
He added, “For me and for all of us present here, ‘film is life’. It is what keeps the moment present, what keeps the beauty resplendent, and what affirms the essence of being alive. Film is the language in which the modern world converses. It is the new idiom in literature through which stories are exchanged in an overwhelming visual and virtual world.”
The festival also hosted a screening of Shah Rukh Khan’s 1994 film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and during his opening remarks, Shah Rukh said that films are a “unifier” as they unite people across cultures. “Film is a unifier because it transits shared human experiences across cultures. You like a film because it stirs your emotions, be it in whatever language or culture it is from. And thank God for subtitles. It brings all that is human to the fore and it shows perhaps better than any other art, how despite the immense diversity of the world we live in, our basic pursuits and emotions are the same,” he said and added, “Cinema celebrates diversity. It doesn’t stop short of fully exploring differences. And doing so, in the most beautiful fashion, it teaches us not to be afraid of those differences.”
When Shah Rukh was welcomed on the stage, a montage of his career was played on the screen that carried visuals from all his hits.
Shah Rukh recently wrapped the shoot of the Rajkumar Hirani directorial Dunki. In 2023, he will be seen in Pathaan, Jawan and Dunki.