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Shah Rukh Khan to Receive Prestigious Honor at the Locarno Film Festival

In a momentous celebration of cinematic excellence, the 77th edition of the Locarno Film Festival is set to give a career achievement award to none other than the Indian superstar and global icon, Shah Rukh Khan. The actor, widely known as “King Khan” and the “Baadshah” of Bollywood, will be awarded the esteemed Pardo alla Carriera Ascona-Locarno Tourism. This prestigious accolade will be handed to him on the evening of Saturday, August 10, at the iconic Piazza Grande.

The award serves as a tribute to Shah Rukh Khan’s illustrious career, which includes a staggering portfolio of more than 100 films, each showcasing his versatility across a multitude of genres in Indian cinema. In addition to receiving this distinguished honor, one of the seminal films in Khan’s career, “Devdas” (2002), directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, will be screened during the festival. On Sunday, August 11, Khan will also engage in a public conversation at the Forum @Spazio Cinema, providing fans and film enthusiasts an opportunity to hear his thoughts and insights.

Shah Rukh Khan’s influence extends far beyond the Indian subcontinent, marking him as a truly global figure. His films have garnered immense popularity worldwide, making him one of the most beloved actors across diverse audiences. Over his expansive 30-year journey in Indian cinema, many of Khan’s films have achieved acclaim and commercial success, standing as cultural touchstones both in India and internationally.

Khan first captured the audience’s attention with his role in the romantic thriller “Baazigar” (1993), where he played a sympathetic anti-hero on a quest for revenge. His portrayal catapulted him to fame and set the stage for subsequent landmark performances. The timeless romantic drama “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (1995) cemented his status as a superstar, and the love story “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” (1998) further solidified his place in Bollywood’s pantheon.

Despite his soaring popularity, Shah Rukh Khan did not shy away from taking on roles that challenged conventional norms. In Yash Chopra’s psychological thriller “Darr” (1993), he portrayed a character experiencing obsessive love, which was ahead of its time. His role as a journalist in Mani Ratnam’s epic “Dil Se” (1998), who falls in love with a terrorist, showcased his willingness to engage with complex narratives and characters.

Throughout the following decades, Khan continues to collaborate with some of India’s most prominent directors and co-stars, earning acclaim and recognition on an international level.

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. Notably, the French government honored him with the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2007 and the Légion d’honneur in 2014, acknowledging his significant contributions to the arts.

In 2023, Shah Rukh Khan experienced another wave of blockbuster success with the releases of “Pathaan,” “Jawan,” and “Dunki.” All three films were commercial hits, receiving widespread appreciation from global audiences. Particularly, “Jawan,” produced by Khan’s own production house, Red Chillies Entertainment, rewrote history by becoming the highest-grossing Hindi film ever. This achievement reaffirms Shah Rukh Khan’s enduring appeal and superstar status.

Commenting on Khan’s recognition, Giona A. Nazzaro, Artistic Director of the Locarno Film Festival, expressed his excitement. “To welcome a living legend like Shah Rukh Khan to Locarno is a dream come true! The wealth and breadth of his contribution to Indian cinema is unprecedented. Khan is a king who has never lost touch with the audience that crowned him. This brave and daring artist has always been willing to challenge himself while remaining true to what his fans all over the world eagerly expect from his films. A true ‘people’s hero’, sophisticated and down to earth, Shah Rukh Khan is a legend of our times.”

The Locarno Film Festival’s Pardo alla Carriera has previously been awarded to illustrious figures such as Francesco Rosi, Claude Goretta, Bruno Ganz, Claudia Cardinale, Johnnie To, Harry Belafonte, Peter-Christian Fueter, Sergio Castellitto, Víctor Erice, Marlen Khutsiev, Bulle Ogier, Mario Adorf, Jane Birkin, Fredi M. Murer, Dante Spinotti, Costa-Gavras, and most recently in 2023, Tsai Ming-liang.

The 77th Locarno Film Festival is scheduled to take place from August 7 to August 17, 2024. As the festival draws nearer, anticipation is mounting for the appearance of Shah Rukh Khan, whose enduring legacy and influence on global cinema continue to inspire.

This narrative of honoring Shah Rukh Khan at Locarno not only pays tribute to his storied career but also celebrates the vibrant spirit of Indian cinema that he so iconically represents.