Bollywood stars out for director Priyadarshan

Some of the famous actors among thousands are heading to Dubai Festival City this evening to honour the veteran of 30 years in the industry.

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DUBAI // More than 20,000 people, including some of Bollywood's best-known actors, are heading to Dubai Festival City this evening to honour the veteran Indian film director Priyadarshan after 30 years in the industry.

Popular actors such as Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgan, Suniel Shetty and Prakash Raj are expected to be in attendance along with 100 performers to celebrate Priyadarshan's work in Indian cinema.

The event, which begins at 6:30pm, is by invitation only, apart from the 4,000 competition winners who took part in special contests handled by the event organisers, Malayala Manorama, one of the largest circulating Indian newspapers.

"The theme for the event is 'Comedy of Errors'," said Varghese Chandy, the senior general manager for marketing at Malayala Manorama. "We picked this theme because Priyadarshan's work is mostly centred around comedy."

His career, which began in the 1980s, includes titles such as Dhol, Bhagam Bhag and Satyaghath: Crime Never Pays.

He has directed more than 80 films in various Indian dialects and is credited with being one of the first directors in India to provide clear sound and high-quality dubbing. His 2009 Tamil-language Kanchivaram earned the National Film Award in India for best film.

The reason Dubai was chosen as the location for the event was because the city also played host to many Indian languages, Mr Chandy said. Expatriate Indians make up a substantial portion of the emirate's population.

"We are using state of the art technology to showcase his work on a big screen," Mr Chandy said. "We are also considering airing the event on TV to give those who could not attend a chance to experience it."

Dance routines from some of the director's movies will be performed live at the event, while some actors will appear from behind the screen for special tributes. Singers such as Sujatha and Kunal Ganjawala will also be giving special performances.

"There is always such a huge demand for Priyadarshan, who also directs in Hindi and Tamil," Mr Chandy said. "All the famous stars that are attending are directly linked to him and therefore have built special relationships."