Bollywood pays homage to film director Yash Chopra

NEW DELHI (AP) — Bollywood stars turned out in strength for a final homage to movie director Yash Chopra at the premiere of his last film.

Led by megastar Amitabh Bachchan, top stars attended the premiere Monday night of "Jab Tak hai Jaan," or "As Long as I am Alive."

Chopra was known as the "King of Romance" for creating classic love stories that were immensely popular. He died last month, days after finishing the film.

Bachchan, who acted in several of Chopra's blockbusters, said the entire Hindi movie industry was honoring the film, which was opening in Indian theaters Tuesday.

"I think Yash Chopra would have liked it. Despite his death, the whole industry is celebrating his movie, and I am very anxious to see it," he said.

Chopra's wife Pamela said the premiere was their way of celebrating Chopra's illustrious life rather than mourning his absence.

The film stars Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan in a love triangle with two leading ladies, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. The story of the film has not been made public, though promotional clips show Khan as both a musician and an army officer.

Monday's red-carpet event in India's entertainment capital, Mumbai, was attended by Aamir Khan, Salman Khan and several Bollywood actresses from Chopra's earlier movies, including Madhuri Dixit, Sridevi and Preity Zinta.

The opening date coincided with the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, and the timing was not without controversy.

Film producers consider a Diwali premiere to be lucky, but it meant the movie ran into the release of another potential blockbuster, Ajay Devgn's "Son of Sardar."

Around 10 days ago, Devgn sent a legal notice to Chopra's company, Yashraj Films, accusing it of pressuring exhibitors to promote "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" over "Son of Sardar" during the Diwali festival holidays.

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