Ranveer steals the show at Marrakech film festival opening night. See videos

Ranveer Singh
Ranveer sang the 'Gully Boy' rap during the event. Photos: Instagram | IANS

Bollywood livewire star Ranveer Singh took centre stage at the opening night of the Marrakech International Film Festival on Friday evening, treating spectators to dancing and an impromptu rap session as he received a tribute award.

The 'Gully Boy' and '83' star, who is one of Bollywood's highest-paid actors, bounded onto the stage in the opening ceremony performing one of his characteristic energy dances, reports Deadline.

"This is the darkest period. When I look at the world around me, I see all sorts of pain and suffering. I feel that in my capacity as an entertainer, the best thing I can do is lighten people's burden," said Singh as he received Marrakech's Etoile d'Or trophy.

Marrakech has a long history of celebrating Indian cinema. The festival previously honored Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan and in 2012, it ran a special sidebar to mark 100 years of Indian cinema.

After his appearance at the official opening ceremony, Ranveer high-tailed it to Marrakech's famous Jemaa El Fna Square to introduce an open-air screening of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's 2015 multi-award-winning 18th costume drama Bajirao Mastani, in which the actor had one of his breakout roles.

He treated the crowd to a rendition of the rap number from Gully Boy and danced again. "You put me on a stage and give me a mike, and I feel compelled to sing you a song, or do you a dance, or show you a movie, or tell you a story," he said.

The Competition Jury also took the stage at the opening ceremony. Oscar-winning Italian director Paolo Sorrentino is president of the jury, which also features British actress Vanessa Kirby, German actor Diane Kruger, Australian director Justin Kurzel, Lebanese director and actor Nadine Labaki, Moroccan director La-la Marrakchi and French actor Tahar Rahim.

Ceremony host Nabila Kilani said: "difficult circumstances" had prevented previously announced jury members Danish director Susanne Bier and Guatemalan-born American actor and producer Oscar Isaac from attending.

This year's main competition will feature 14 first and second films, which include Portugal's Oscar entry Alma Viva, Morocco's submission The Blue Caftan and buzzy Indonesian Venice title Autobiography.

The festival opened on Friday evening with Guillermo Del Toro's Pinocchio although the director was not in attendance.

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