Doha film fest rolls out the red carpet but where are the celebrities?
US actor Robert De Niro (2nd L) founder of New York's Tribeca Film Festival, poses for a photograph along side his wife Grace Hightower De Niro and Indian actor Anupam Kher (L) and Doha Film Institute CEO Abdulaziz Bin Khalid Al-Khater (R) at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in the Qatari capital. AFP
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There was definitely something in the air on the third night of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival on Monday. Perhaps it was the sparsely filled press pen on the red carpet or just plain fatigue kicking in — the few celebrities who braved the premiere of ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ were a moody lot.
Egyptian actor Khalid Abol Naga, who took part in a panel discussion about the future of Egyptian cinema post-revolution on Sunday, started off with a smile as he posed for pictures. But when tabloid! asked him his stand on the accusation that some Egyptian filmmakers were taking advantage of the January 25 Revolution as an inspiration for film themes he offered a curt reply: “I don’t like that question,” he said, before walking swiftly away.
He did have some more smiles for waiting fans though as he went on to pose for pictures.
‘Silver Linings’ star Anupam Kher was equally blunt on the red carpet.
“But I’ve already spoken to them,” he told the publicist who led him to us on the red carpet, referring to our interview earlier in the day.
But we soldiered on, asking him what he thought of ‘Barfi’ as India’s official entry to the Oscars.
“I have not seen the film so it won’t be fair to comment,” came the reply. “I don’t think this is a platform to talk about the selection procedure of the Indian film industry for the Oscars. Right now I’m here to talk about Silver Linings, and I’m happy to be part of this amazing cast.”
To be fair, Kher had warned in said earlier interview — where he spoke at length about Silver Linings, that he was an arrogant man. “I am arrogant because I am a self-made man,” he joked.
With a quiet red carpet it was up to Robert De Niro to save the evening. The legendary actor, who co-owns the festival along with the Doha Film Institute, arrived with his wife Grace, dressed in a lacy Dolce & Gabbana two-piece. The pair shared a tender moment on the red carpet by exchanging a kiss, which was greeted with loud cheers.
“This film is very special because it has so much in it with regards to the story and the characters. They are all so beautiful and I am so proud [Robert] is part of it,” Grace said, with a genuinely kind smile.
We asked De Niro if he ever gets tired of doing red carpets. After all, his is a career spanning almost 50 years.
“It’s just what it is,” he laughed. “Sometimes I just walk through but it’s fun.”
And with that, like always, it was De Niro who showed everyone how it’s done.