Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor Image Credit: Supplied

When it’s a party filled with glamorous Bollywood stars, can dancing ever be far behind?

Muscat, Oman witnessed it first-hand as an intense actor like Indian National Award-winning Rajkummar Rao — who played a terrorist mastermind in ‘Omerta’ — danced on stage like nobody was watching on Friday night. Rao, who was joined on stage by Nora Fatehi — the consummate dancer from the hit song ‘Kamariya’ from Rao’s horror comedy ‘Stree’ — gave her a serious run for her money as he grooved with more passion than her.

The song and dance spectacle that went into the early hours of Saturday morning didn’t end there.

Bollywood’s amiable pair Ishaan Khatter and Janhvi Kapoor even taught hundreds of fans gathered in Muscat their iconic ‘Zingat’ dance moves from their movie ‘Dhadak’.

Welcome to the first anniversary celebrations of Filmfare Middle East that saw a series of firsts. Gulf News tabloid! was at the event that saw a glittering army of actors including Tabu, Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, Jacqueline Fernandez, Asha Parekh, singer Bappi Lahiri and ‘Sacred Games’ sensation Kubbra Sait hit the red carpet and walk home with trophies. Here are our top moments of the night from the red carpet and the ceremony that followed…

- Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, who was clad in a full-sleeved white gown by Dubai-based designer Ezra, took one for all the women in Bollywood as she accepted the Most Progressive Roles in Hindi Cinema 2018 award

Sonam Kapoor Ahuja
Sonam Kapoor Ahuja Image Credit: Supplied

When she was lauded for her choice of strong and different roles in films such as ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha To Aisa Laga’, Kapoor was quick to point out that her colleagues were doing the same too.

“Actors are doing fantastically and doing great roles … Look at our host [Kubbra Sait who played a transgender woman in web series ‘Sacred Games’] this evening. The women in our industry are way braver than men in our industry and they are picking up some amazing roles. But I won’t include Raj [Rajkkumar Rao] in that list. It’s important that we make choices that not many actors are willing to take. The women in our industry are making that brave choice. I won’t take credit for it alone.”

- Tabu gets nostalgic about ‘Chandini Bar’ (the gritty film about a bar dancer in Mumbai’s underbelly) as she accepts a trophy from its director Madhur Bhandarkar

Tabu Image Credit: Supplied

“I remember being very depressed when I read the script. I couldn’t complete it and I told Madhur that it was too much and that I didn’t know about such an underbelly of Mumbai. I read the second half later. I knew from the first few scenes that I wanted to do this film though.”

Unlike the murky film, the mood on its set was surprisingly sprightly and merry.

“It was an intensely dark film but we had so much fun,” she said.

Tabu, who has enjoyed a phenomenal year in Bollywood with hits such as ‘Andhadhun’, had a gripe though. Her mother isn’t a fan a fan of her dying on the big screen.

“I don’t think any mother wants to see her child dying on screen… My mom wants me to do some happy roles after dark films like ‘Fitoor’ and ‘Andhadhun’.”

- Rajkummar Rao proves he’s perfect boyfriend material:

Rajkummar Rao with Anis Sajan, managing director of Danube Group. Image Credit: Supplied

As he was honoured with a trophy for his work in films such as ‘Stree’ and ‘Omerta’, he was asked about the most precious item that he had purchased in his life after finding fame, glory and money. His answer would make your heart melt.

“I haven’t bought anything expensive. But the kind of love that I got from Patralekhaa is the most expensive thing that I have and it’s something that I cherish everyday.”

- Bappi Lahiri, who was honoured for completing 50 years in the music industry, proves he’s still got it.

Bappi Lahiri
Bappi Lahiri Image Credit: Supplied

When it came to fervour and spirit, nobody could beat Lahiri’s on-stage charisma and enthusiasm. Even though it was well past midnight, the flamboyant singer with an outlandish fetish for accessorising, belted out hits like ‘Tamma Tamma Loge’ and ‘Ooh La La’ with a gusto of a 20-year-old.

-Ishaan Khatter, who was honoured with the Best Debut (Male), wins the crowd over with his humility and remembers his half-brother Shahid Kapoor’s reaction on watching him in his first film with director Majid Majidi.

“He is about 15 years older than me and has cradled me all his life. He’s like a father figure to me. And when he saw me first in ‘Beyond The Clouds’ at a private screening, he just sunk into his chair, put his hands up and went ‘aaaah’. That was a victory for me.”

- Jacqueline Fernandez on hitting a career milestone.


“It’s my 10th year in Bollywood and this dream would have been possible without the loving support of my fans. It has been an amazing journey for me. It’s just the beginning.”


Swara Bhasker, who was scheduled to attend the awards nights in Muscat, lost her passport at the last minute and couldn’t make it to the ceremony.

Here’s a full list of winners:
■ FFME performer of the year 2018: Rajkummar Rao
■ FFME Classic Talent: Tabu
■ FFME Most Progressive Roles in Hindi Cinema 2018: Sonam K Ahuja
■ FFME Best Debut 2018 (Male): Ishaan Khatter
■ FFME best Debut 2018 (Female): Janhvi Kapoor
■ FFME Lifetime Achievement: Asha Parekh
■ FFME Legend of Indian Cinema: Shatrughan Sinha
■ FFME Outstanding Talent of 2018: Jim Sarbh
■ FFME Most Stylish Film Personality: Jackie Shroff
■ FFME Director Path Breaking Indian Cinema: Madhur Bhandarkar
■ FFME Music Icon of Indian Cinema: Usha Uthup
■ FFME Music Legend (Golden Anniversary): Bappi Lahiri
■ FEME Woman of Style and Substance: Jacqueline Fernandez