Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan was honored at the 60th San Francisco Internationalo Film Festival on April 14 at the Castro Theater. “King” Khan as he is known to his millions of fans, was cheered lustily after the receiving the award. The Festival had a special onstage tribute – stepped out looking dapper in a black suit amidst the inevitable pop of flashbulbs, and cheering fans, a sight that was hard for onlookers to fathom. Later on, he participated in a conversation onstage with Brett Ratner following a screening of his 2010 hit “My Name Is Khan.”
“It is a great honor to welcome one of the world’s most recognized film personalities,” said SFFILM’s executive director Noah Cowan. “Above Shah Rukh Khan’s fame as an actor is a man known for his pervasive curiosity about the world around him, about technology, about our collective future. Khan is among the most engaging figures in any field and this night, in conversation with Hollywood wizard Brett Ratner, will be among the most memorable of this year’s festival events.”
The scale of Khan’s popularity was clearly reflected when braving a chilly evening, hundreds of young Indian American fans in party attire queued up outside the theater here, some for more than five hours, to be a part of an intimate conversation with the actor, producer, and humanitarian exploring his unique balance between commercially-minded cinema and artistic values, which was moderated by famed Hollywood director and producer Brett Ratner.
Khan said that he was “humbled” to be honored with the likes of John Ridley and Ethan Hawke, which somehow reminded him that what he was doing was not as simple as he would like to believe, and that it does touch people’s lives.
“I feel wonderful being here. I was just telling my team that it makes me feel at home because so many people from Southeast Asia and South Asia come down and make you feel as if you are home. So thank you everyone who is standing outside. I would like to come see everyone before I leave,” Khan told India-West. And he did, where once again the fans went into a frenzy trying to get close to their idol, take selfies, present bouquets as the actor made a round to shake his fans’ hands before leaving the venue.
“I long to not blush when you say such nice things about me but this makes me feel extremely special, and I thank the San Francisco Film Festival, Noah, Josh, and everyone who has got me here, all of you who are here and everyone who is standing outside,” Khan was quoted to have told the m3edia. “I have kept it very simple for 25 years. From the outside, it might seem complicated that I do special stuff but I do ordinary stuff. I tell my children this again and again that the only thing I do different from other fathers is that I wear makeup in the morning. I just get up and go do a job and I hope like everybody else I get right again this time. I have been fortunate that more often than not I have got it right. That’s the only strength. I hope I make a film, lots of people like it in whatever context, and smile a lot when they watch it.”