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Ali Fazal presents award to Judi Dench at Santa Barbara Film Festival

The Indian actor honoured the veteran actress with the annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film on 30 November.

Photo: Santa Barbara Film Festival Twitter

Sonal Pandya

Ali Fazal, who's gearing up for his next, Fukrey Returns, has flown all the way to Santa Barbara, California to honour his Victoria & Abdul co-star, Judi Dench, with the annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film.

The actor was on hand with stars Jeff Bridges and Armie Hammer to give the award and walked the red carpet with Dench for the black tie gala dinner at Bacara Resort & Spa on 30 November.

Fazal tweeted before the event, saying, "Holy shit, am gonna be sharing the stage with the Dude. in exactly 24hrs. Updating soon!". He was referring to Bridges's iconic character from the film The Big Lebowski (1998).

Fazal shared in a statement why he wanted to be there on Dench's special night.

He said, "It was a world of a different experience to work with Judi Dench. She’s a powerhouse of talent and I have learned so much from her. And now to be able to be on a platform honouring her is actually an honour for me. She’s rightfully deserving of this award and so much more. She’s one of the most humble, hard-working, energetic people I have met who still has so much appetite to learn. She’s has inspired me for years to come and I’m looking forward to seeing her again after two months in Santa Barbara."

Dench played queen Victoria and Fazal played her Indian manservant and confidant, Abdul Karim, in the film directed by Stephen Frears.