Camila Coelho, Kattan sisters to headline Beauty Pop in Dubai

Updated 15 April 2018
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Camila Coelho, Kattan sisters to headline Beauty Pop in Dubai

DUBAI: Brazilian fashion-and-beauty blogger Camila Coelho is just one of several major international celebrity participants heading to Dubai this week for Beauty Pop. Running from April 19-21 at Dubai Design District, Beauty Pop will “unite international and regional celebrities, guests, bloggers and retailers for a weekend full of makeup and hair master classes, panel talks, meet & greets, retail experiences, and … pop-up activations that will educate, entertain and inspire,” according to the event website.

Coelho will be joined there by other high-profile influencers from the world of fashion and beauty — including celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin, lifestyle and beauty vlogger Desi Perkins, fashion blogger Marianna Hewitt, celeb hair colorist Tracey Cunningham, and skin-care expert Nurse Jamie — discussing how to become a beauty blogger on YouTube, the evolution of the Middle East’s beauty industry, the industry’s influence on social media, and more.

Boston-based Coelho is best known for her “MakeUpByCamila” YouTube channel, which she launched in Portugese in June 2010. A little over a year later, she launched the English-language version of the channel and now has over 3.3 million subscribers across the two, along with her more than 6 million Instagram followers.

The 30-year-old has said she knew from an early age that she wanted to be involved in the fashion and beauty industry. “The moment I ‘discovered’ makeup, I knew it was for me, so I became a makeup artist,” she told bagsnob.com in 2014. “My first job was with Dior. I started working the makeup counter at Macy’s.”

Also attending the event will be sisters Huda and Mona Kattan — co-founders (along with their eldest sister, Alya) of the hugely successful Dubai-based Huda Beauty. The sisters were born in the US to Iraqi parents and later moved to the UAE. Huda is reportedly the highest-paid influencer on Instagram, landing up to $18,000 for a single sponsored post targeting her 25 million followers, according to the platform’s inaugural Rich List. She also featured in “Time” magazine’s “25 Most Influential People on the Internet” list in June 2017.

“Earlier this year,” Huda’s listing read, “the New York Times posed a simple question: ‘Is Huda Kattan the most influential beauty blogger in the world?’ The answer just might be yes.”

In that NYT interview a year ago, Huda addressed the common comparisons drawn between the Kattan sisters and the Kardashians. “I can understand (it),” she said. “We’re 2017 women who are ultimately going out there, pursuing something out of passion and making a business out of it.”

However, she added, “I just can’t wait for the comparisons to stop.”


Interview with the director and stars of ‘The Lion King’

Twenty-five years later, director Jon Favreau has brought “The Lion King” to life again for a new generation. (Supplied)
Updated 18 July 2019
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Interview with the director and stars of ‘The Lion King’

  • Jon Favreau, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner discuss Disney’s latest blockbuster remake.
  • ‘We’re trying to live up to people’s imagination of what they remember ‘Lion King’ being,’ says Favreau.

DUBAI: There are few movies as resonant as Disney’s 1994 classic “The Lion King.” From its beautiful animation and memorable songs by Hans Zimmer and Elton John to its devastating emotional punch, the film has become a touchstone for an entire generation, one of the few films that unite nearly every person who has seen it across the world.

Now, 25 years later, director Jon Favreau (“Iron Man,” “The Jungle Book”) has brought “The Lion King” to life again for a new generation. Sitting in London, the first thing Favreau asks Arab News is whether we were part of the “Lion King” generation, and we were, mentioning to Favreau just how expansive the film still feels to us.

 Chiwetel Ejiofor, Director and Producer Jon Favreau and Donald Glover attend the World Premiere of Disney's "THE LION KING" in Hollywood. (AFP)

“That’s part of the challenge here! We’re trying to live up to people’s imagination of what they remember ‘Lion King’ being. We would watch it next to one another and there’s certain sequences that hold up incredibly well that we tried to follow shot-for-shot like (the opening sequence) ‘Circle of Life,’ but there’s other areas where we had the opportunity to update it and make it feel a bit more grounded in reality,” Favreau tells Arab News.

Remaking it for a new generation seems obvious, but — to borrow from another Disney classic — it was a Herculean task for Favreau and the huge animation team that supported him. This version remains fully animated, but uses cutting-edge technology to make the entire film photo-realistic. The characters, story, and songs remain, but the film looks more like a David Attenborough nature documentary than an animated movie.

It wasn’t just the technology that proved challenging, either. Making sure that audiences still connect with these beloved characters without the expressiveness of classic Disney animation was something that gave Favreau pause.

(Supplied)

“I worked on ‘Jungle Book,’ so I had some experience in this area,” he says. “Pretty early on, we got to try some different things and when you go to human, you think it would make you feel more but it really feels kind of bizarre, at least to me. I was limited if we were to go photo-real. If you go stylized like Pixar it’s great, you can do whatever you want. If we go ‘Madagascar’ you can make them stick their tongues out. The minute you start hitting photorealism, you hit the uncanny valley when you push the performances beyond what the real animal could do. Part of what makes it look so real is we limited what we allowed the animators to do.”

To be sure that audiences would connect with the characters, Favreau relied a lot on the voices that supported them, bringing in an all-star cast including Beyoncé as Nala, Donald Glover as Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa.

“If you look at a character like Pumbaa, to me he’s the most fun example, because when people saw pictures of Pumbaa they were like, ‘Oh my god! That’s horrifying! That thing looks like a monster!’ But when you watch the movie and you hear Seth Rogen’s voice coming out of it and the way the animators animated his body and what the character represents and feels, you have a tremendous connection to it. It’s a testament to the power of using techniques that we borrowed from documentaries or other films, where we limit ourselves to not anthropomorphize the characters,” says Favreau.

(Supplied) 

Eichner and Rogen both tried to remain true to the characters, but also stay true to themselves. “My idea from the beginning was that Jon cast us for a reason,” says Eichner. “He could have cast pretty much any actors. Anyone would have killed to do these roles and be in this movie. It wasn’t the right time to try a new persona. It would have been very strange had I all of a sudden had a deep resonant baritone. I figured he wants Seth to sound like Seth and me to sound like me — or at least what our public comic personas sound-like — and hopefully they’ll complement each other, which they did. Our goal was not to try a new character but to be as funny as possible together.”

As funny as Rogen and Eichner are in the film, it is still aimed firmly at kids — something Rogen hadn’t really considered prior.

Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen at the World Premiere of Disney's "THE LION KING" in Hollywood . (AFP)

“It wasn’t something that even occurred to me until we were making the movie and I was performing the bully scene,” he says. “I was like, ‘Oh, this is for kids!’ I have never done anything that was ever trying to instill any wisdom into kids in any way shape or form.”

The film’s wisdom, like the original, is far-reaching, exploring truths not only of family and loss, but of the corrupting nature of ambition and power, which Ejiofor explored in his role as Scar.

“Often, when people are obsessed with power and status, they aren’t really worried about what they do with it, they’re just concerned about getting it. It’s not something that’s connected to any kind of nurturing aspect for a community or anybody else. It becomes about the nature of obsession — obsession with power and status, and maybe status more than power, even though they are related,” says Ejiofor. “That’s one of the things that’s engaging and fun about the film and its themes.”