From left Zahrah S Khan , Shehnaaz Gill, Maniesh Paul,, Rizwan Sajan ,Govinda, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Sophie Choudry, Mouni Roy during the Press conference to promote the annual Filmfare Middle East Achievers Night 2022 (FFME 2022). Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

What’s a Bollywood-fueled press conference without stars breaking into an impromptu song and dance?

And that’s precisely what happened as a raft of actors including Govinda, Nushratt Bharuccha, Shehnaz Gill, Mouni Roy, Sophie Choudry, Maniesh Paul, and singer Zahrah S Khan came together to promote the annual Filmfare Middle East Achievers Night 2022 (FFME 2022). The press conference was held a day before the awards ceremony to drum up excitement for the star-studded FFME 2022  to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on November 19.

Veteran actor Govinda, who’s known for his excellent comic timing and smooth dance moves, got the proverbial ball rolling and gave everyone a teaser of what to expect.

“I don’t agree with attending awards shows that easily. But when the intentions of those involved are good and their heart is golden, the results can never be bad … I feel like it’s a homecoming as I come to Dubai to attend this Filmfare awards night… The love that you all bestowed on me is endless and precious. I hold it close to my heart,” said Govinda in Hindi before he broke out into a song.

The 'Raja Babu' star also reminisced about how his initial days as a struggling actor were tough and Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s home was his sole sanctuary.

“But today I feel like I am back home in Dubai where I belong. The love that I have received from Arab fans makes me feel incredibly lucky as an artist. I promise it's going to be a great night” said Govinda.

He wasn’t the only actor to feel grateful for being back on stage at a public event. Actress Bharuccha expressed her happiness about attending a glitzy awards night in the post-COVID-19 era replete with a red-carpet call and fan zones.

“I am almost wondering why we were not wearing a mask … I had COVID twice, but it feels great to be here today in Dubai because life has to go on and we need to put those days behind us,” said Bharuccha. For this actress, attending the FFME 2022 was akin to life coming full circle.

Nushrratt Bharuccha during the Press conference to promote the annual Filmfare Middle East Achievers Night 2022 (FFME 2022).

“As an outsider in this industry, it feels so great to be attending an award function of this scale because this is my passion and my presence here is a testament to my achievements so far in Bollywood. You won’t be able to drag me away from this place. Trust me, I will be the last person to leave at this awards night,” said Bharuccha. She will be performing to her hit songs on the awards night.

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Actress Choudry, who will be hosting the FFME 2022 with Maniesh Paul, expressed her happiness at hitting the stage once again in her life.

“It’s delightful to see the drive among people to bring back events into the city and what better place than Dubai … Bollywood is so popular in this region and we all want to make the awards night special. Let’s all have a wonderful evening and put those dark days behind us,” said Choudry.

Actor and host Maniesh Paul also felt that Dubai audience was a fantastic one during such shows.

"Hosting may look easy, but it's very challenging. I derive a lot of energy from the audience and their vibes. But I know that Dubai is a fantastic place to host and I can't wait for the magic to happen," said Paul.

FFME 2022, which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, will see actors including Ranveer Singh, Hema Malini, Sunny Leone, Tamannah Bhatia, Sajal Aly, Humayun Saeed, and Janhvi Kapoor attend.

Image Credit: Manjusha Radhakrishnan