72-hours in Venice with Lebanese actress Stephanie Saliba

Stephanie Saliba walks the red carpet ahead of the movie 'Nomadland.' Getty
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Updated 15 September 2020

72-hours in Venice with Lebanese actress Stephanie Saliba

DUBAI: Stephanie Saliba, the Lebanese actress known for “Moment of Silence,” opens up about her whirlwind few days at the Venice Film Festival, which is currently underway in Italy. From her favorite spots in the city to how she prepares for the red carpet, Saliba details her first Venice Film Festival experience with Arab News. 

Tell us what about your Venice International Film Festival experience.

“I have attended many international festivals in my career as an actress but it’s the first time I attend the Venice International Film Festival and I am so excited to be here especially that it is the world’s oldest film festival.

With strict coronavirus protocols in place, did you feel that it took away from the experience of the festival in a sense? 

“This festival is the first major international film event to take place since the lockdown imposed by the coronavirus so I definitely had my concerns but I acted responsibly throughout the long trip that took me from Beirut to Venice through Abu Dhabi then Rome.  

“There were strict virus-prevention measures such as wearing masks and using hand sanitizer so it was reassuring.”



A post shared by Stephanie Saliba ستيفاني صليبا (@stephaniesalibaofficial) on

How long in advance do you start prepping for an event like this?  

“For this festival, the preparation took almost a week, and among the things I worked on is my appearance because walking on the red carpet is part of any festival so I always like to choose a theme to deliver a specific message. It’s also time consuming to decide on the outfit, the designer, the hairstyle, make-up and accessories.”

What are some of your essentials you packed for the trip?  

“I have a special protocol when packing for a trip. I like to always be in my comfort zone so I pack different outfits, shoes, accessories and as soon as I reach my destination, I unpack right away to feel that I belong to the space I will be in for the next coming days. Most of the time, I overpack and take stuff I do not necessarily use – I pack every single product that I use on daily basis.”

What’s in your travel beauty kit?

“In my handbag you’ll find a lip balm, a blush, a powder, a mascara and a small mirror.

In my luggage, you’ll find a professional makeup kit because I like to do my own make up sometimes, especially if I have photo shoots in different countries and do not have a makeup artist at hand.”

Stephanie Saliba wears Georges Hobeika at the 77th Venice Film Festival on September 11, 2020 in Venice, Italy. Getty

Who are your go-to red carpet designers?

“This time I chose to be dressed by the two designers. Georges Hobeika and Aden, whose designs are super appealing to me.”

Give us a step-by-step breakdown on how you get ready for a red carpet/photo call.

“I always start by taking great care of my skin. So I cleanse, followed by a mask and then I apply face creams. Those rituals take an hour before I move to the hair styling and to the make-up session. I always like to do a photo shoot before I go on the red carpet.”

What are your red carpet must-haves?

“My Samsung phone as I like to take record of my entrance even if there are professional photographers covering the event.”



A post shared by Stephanie Saliba ستيفاني صليبا (@stephaniesalibaofficial) on

Do you have a specific scent for the red carpet?

“I will be wearing an Oud scented fragrance.   It reflects my identity as an Arab plus it’s a fragrance for strong women.”

You have makeup put on and taken off sometimes multiple times a day during an event like this. How do you take care of your  skin to avoid breakouts and dehydration and what are your go-to products?

“I take good care of my skin. I make sure I drink enough water and use moisturizing products and whoever knows me knows I always sleep late in the mornings then I start my day with the necessary creams and from time to time during the day I refresh my face with balloons filled with water that I keep in the freezer.”

Between premieres, photo calls and events, the schedule is quite grueling. How do you keep your energy levels up?  

“I follow the intermittent fasting diet, especially when I am under a lot of pressure or during events. It pumps up my energy.”



First McDonald’s meal in 10 years! Blame it on the 27 hours flight #cheatday

A post shared by Stephanie Saliba ستيفاني صليبا (@stephaniesalibaofficial) on

How do you like to spend your time when you’re not attending premieres and events?

“I like to explore the country I am in and in case it’s a country I visited before, I like to do photo shoots and keep records of the moments and share them with my followers on social media.”

Namecheck some of your favorite restaurants in Venice.  

“I’ve been to Venice more than once, I mainly like the small local authentic restaurants that reflect the country’s cuisine and where I can eat traditional plates. I do that in every country I visit.”

Some of your favorite spots in Venice?

“St Mark’s square. I also enjoy cruising Venice canals with the gondolas.”

French-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar joins the cast of ‘Scream 5’

Updated 20 September 2020

French-Tunisian star Sonia Ben Ammar joins the cast of ‘Scream 5’

DUBAI:Up-and-coming French-Tunisian singer, model and actor Sonia Ben Ammar has joined the cast of “Scream 5,”  it’s been revealed this week.

 According to Variety, production on Spyglass Media and Paramount Pictures’ upcoming relaunch of the  famous horror film franchise is set to begin later this month.

Filmmaking duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who are behind “Ready or Not,” are directing the forthcoming film.

The first “Scream” film was released in 1996, well before Ben Ammar was even born.  A smash hit upon its debut, the movie helped to revive the horror genre, becoming the highest-grossing slasher movie of all-time. 

This will be Paris-born Ammar’s first high-profile Hollywood gig as an actress. She along with other young franchise newcomers will be joining returning cast members David Arquette, Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell, who are all reprising their iconic roles as Dewey Riley, Gale Weathers and Sidney Prescott.

Plot details for the new film, set to debut in theaters on Jan. 14, 2022, are still under wraps,  so it is not yet known what role the French-Arab star will be taking on.

“I’m SCREAMing of excitement!! (sic)” wrote the 21-year-old on Instagram, announcing the news to her 730,000 social media followers. “Incredibly grateful to be part of one of my favorite franchises. 2nd photo is my face when I got the call lol (sic),” she captioned a screenshot of Variety’s article announcing the news and a blurry snap of her clearly overjoyed. 

However, it’s not the multi-hyphenate model’s first foray into the film industry.

Ben Ammar, who is the daughter of Tunisian film director Tarek Ben Ammar and actress Beata, previously starred in Guillaume Canet’s French-language film “Jappeloup” as well as the stage musical “1789: Les Amants de la Bastille.”

She’s also appeared in several music videos, including “Drivin’ Thru the Night” by DJ Petit Biscuit, as well as clips for her own singles, such as “Joyride” from her debut EP.

In addition to music, Ben Ammar is also a rising model, and has worked for many major brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Miu Miu, Carolina Herrera and Chanel, among other prestigious fashion houses.