Amitabh Bachchan stars in a new Expo 2020 advert

Amitabh Bachchan stars in a new Expo 2020 advert
The advert was released in India and the UAE. (Supplied)
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Updated 08 January 2022

Amitabh Bachchan stars in a new Expo 2020 advert

Amitabh Bachchan stars in a new Expo 2020 advert

DUBAI: Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan has starred this week in a new campaign for Dubai’s Expo 2020.

Released in India and the UAE, the advert brings together the Bollywood star, Indian poet Prasoon Joshi and musical maestro Shankar Mahadevan to highlight the range of events and experiences available at Expo 2020, from projections on the Al-Wasl dome, the largest 360-degree projection surface in the world, to its 192 country pavilions.

This is the first time the three stars have collaborated on a project.




This is the first time the three stars have collaborated on a project. (Supplied)

“When we began working on this project, the biggest challenge was to be able to truly convey the essence of Expo 2020 Dubai. We wanted it to be purposeful, but also playful and fun, catering to people of all ages and interests,” said Mahadevan in a released statement.

Joshi, who is the CEO of McCann Worldgroup India, said: “This campaign is a manifestation of what Expo 2020 Dubai has nurtured and it’s rewarding to see it come to life.”

“Working with Amitabh Bachchan is always a learning experience, as he always brings new concepts to life, and the collaboration with the great musician Shankar Mahadevan is always special. Together we have tried to give this campaign the edge it needs to instantly resonate with the audience,” added Joshi.

Expo 2020 has hosted more than 17,000 events since opening in October 2021, welcoming hundreds of entertainers, performers, talents and leaders.

Expo has hosted other popular Indian entertainers such as singer Neha Kakkar and rapper Badshah.

Award-winning director Shekhar Kapur and Oscar and Grammy-winning composer A.R. Rahman will present a musical show this month.


Model Bella Hadid supports Arab creatives on social media

Bella Hadid took to Instagram to spotlight Arab talent. (File/ AFP)
Bella Hadid took to Instagram to spotlight Arab talent. (File/ AFP)
Updated 35 sec ago

Model Bella Hadid supports Arab creatives on social media

Bella Hadid took to Instagram to spotlight Arab talent. (File/ AFP)

DUBAI: US Dutch Palestinian supermodel Bella Hadid this week took to Instagram to spotlight some of the Arab world’s on-screen talents. 

The catwalk star republished a post shared on the non-profit advocacy organization Institute for Middle East Understanding’s account that shines light on Palestinian creatives that have been making headlines internationally, including Josie Totah, Michael Karim Malarkey and May Calamawy. 

Totah, a Palestinian Lebanese talent who has been nominated for the Critics Choice Awards in the past, is taking a lead role in Apple TV+’s upcoming drama series “The Buccaneers.” 

It is an eight-episode series inspired by the unfinished novel “The Buccaneers” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton. 

Hadid’s post also paid tribute to Malarkey, who plays Enzo in the hit series “The Vampire Diaries.” 

Born in Beirut, the Palestinian actor and musician also stars in season 4 of HBO’s “Westworld” that premiered this week. He features alongside a star-studded, award-winning cast including Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton and Jeffrey Wright. 

Among the stars that Hadid told fans to look out for are Palestinian actresses Leem Lubany and Hiam Abbass. 

Lubany is famous for her role in the 2013 film “Omar,” and Abbass, a European Film Award nominee, stars in Hulu’s thriller “The Old Man” that premiered on June 16. 

The series, in its second season, is based on the award-winning novel with the same name by US novelist Thomas Perry. 

Another leading Arab star lauded by Hadid is Calamawy, the Egyptian-Palestinian actress who recently starred alongside Oscar Isaac and Ethan Hawke in Marvel’s miniseries “Moon Knight.” 

Calamawy, who is best known for her role in the Golden Globe-winning sitcom “Ramy,” is one of the show’s leads, Layla El-Faouly.

Hadid has always been vocal about her support for Palestine and its creatives. 

She uses her social media accounts to show her support for the diaspora and to raise awareness about military violence toward Palestinians. 

Last year, she joined demonstrations in New York to protest Israeli attacks on Palestinians living in Gaza.

She frequently calls out Instagram for “shadow banning” her Palestine-related posts. “Are we not allowed to be Palestinian on Instagram? This, to me, is bullying,” she previously wrote on Instagram. “I am proud to be Palestinian.” 


Louvre Abu Dhabi displays Filipino artifacts for first time

The second artifact is a funerary mask from the city of Butuan in the Philippines. (Supplied)
The second artifact is a funerary mask from the city of Butuan in the Philippines. (Supplied)
Updated 29 June 2022

Louvre Abu Dhabi displays Filipino artifacts for first time

The second artifact is a funerary mask from the city of Butuan in the Philippines. (Supplied)

DUBAI: The UAE’s Louvre Abu Dhabi unveiled on Wednesday two loans from the Philippines’ Ayala Museum in the first-ever showcase of artifacts from the country.  

In celebration of the touristic attraction’s fifth anniversary, these Filipino artifacts are on display until June 2023. 

The historical items date back to the 10th-13th century. 

The first loan is a gold cup that was recovered from Nabua in the Camarines Sur province of the Philippines. It highlights the striking similarity of Filipino works to the Chinese gold and silverware acquired by Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2019.

(Supplied)

The second artifact is a funerary mask from the city of Butuan in the Philippines. It places emphasis on immortality being the universal hope of mankind when faced with death, according to a released statement. This artifact is currently showcased alongside other historical items from the Levant and South America that exemplify this shared tradition.


Gigi, Bella Hadid step out in bold looks for Marc Jacobs’ NYC show  

Gigi, Bella Hadid step out in bold looks for Marc Jacobs’ NYC show  
Updated 28 June 2022

Gigi, Bella Hadid step out in bold looks for Marc Jacobs’ NYC show  

Gigi, Bella Hadid step out in bold looks for Marc Jacobs’ NYC show  

DUBAI: From French Algerian model Loli Bahia to US Dutch Palestinian sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid, Arab models are turning heads on the runway this week. 

The Hadid sisters on Monday walked the runway for US fashion label Marc Jacobs in New York.

The show, which took place in the lobby of the New York Public Library, presented the New York-born designer’s fall 2022 collection. 

Instagram/@gigihadid

Oversized is the key word that represents the show. The models wore colorful large knitwear pieces tied around their heads and waists, voluminous gowns, puffy coats, huge jackets and high platform boots. 

Gigi and Bella stepped out with bleached eyebrows, dark hair and blunt micro bangs. 

On Instagram, Gigi shared a video of her turn around the catwalk as she showed off two oversized knit sweaters with a grey skirt and white platform heels. 

Meanwhile, Bella wore a sheen-heavy black dress that was voluminous and multi-layered. Her look was accessorized with white gloves and chunky heels. 

For her part, Bahia walked the runway for French fashion label Jacquemus that took place in Southern France’s Camargue Park during Paris Men’s Fashion Week. 

The models, including Bahia, presented the brand’s fall 2022 collection on large mounds of salt. 


Part-Algerian model Loli Bahia walks the runway for Jacquemus in France 

Part-Algerian model Loli Bahia walks the runway for Jacquemus in France 
Updated 28 June 2022

Part-Algerian model Loli Bahia walks the runway for Jacquemus in France 

Part-Algerian model Loli Bahia walks the runway for Jacquemus in France 

DUBAI: French-Algerian model Loli Bahia walked the runway for French fashion label Jacquemus in Camargue Park, on France's Mediterranean coast, during Paris Men’s Fashion Week. 

The models, including Bahia, presented the brand’s fall 2022 collection on large mounds of salt set against a breathtaking natural backdrop.

The event was attended by a veritable who’s who of the fashion world, including  Jordanian Romanian footwear designer Amina Muaddi, British designer Victoria Beckham, French actor Vincent Cassel and his wife Tina Kunakey, Nigerian singer BurnaBoy, British actress Simone Ashley, Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodríguez and British singer Jorja Smith.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by hadigi (@_hadigi_)

The A-list guests sat on a front row bench that was made out of salt crystal as they watched the models show off a collection marked by monochrome tones and neutral hues.  

Nineteen-year-old Bahia, who is taking the industry by storm, wore a set of bulky beige overalls with large pockets at the waist as she, and the other models, descended from the top of a salt mountain. A white, floor-length tulle was attached to her suit from the back.

“Walking on the moon,” the model wrote on Instagram Stories after the show, referring to the extraterrestrial feel of the unexpected runway with its salt structures, clear pools of water and bright sky.

The show, titled “Le Papier,” featured fluffy coats, puffer vests and cargo pants along with feminine and innovative bridal looks using voluminous tulle, asymmetric cuts and sheer dresses. 

Bahia is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand models in the industry having become a runway fixture in just a couple of months after a breakthrough spring 2022 fashion month, where she walked in 65 shows.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by @lolibahiaa

The teenager has taken to the catwalk for a multitude of prestigious fashion houses, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Valentino.

Signed to Women Management Paris, she made her runway debut in 2020 at the Louis Vuitton fall 2021 show and went on to star in the Parisian fashion luxury house’s fall campaign last year.

She has also featured in numerous campaigns for high-end fashion labels, including Saint Laurent, and Max Mara, and has appeared in prestigious fashion publications such as Vogue Italia.


Italian screenwriter wows cinemagoers on first visit to the Kingdom

Italian screenwriter wows cinemagoers on first visit to the Kingdom
Updated 27 June 2022

Italian screenwriter wows cinemagoers on first visit to the Kingdom

Italian screenwriter wows cinemagoers on first visit to the Kingdom
  • Giacomo Mazzariol’s movie screened as part of weeklong European Film Festival
  • 25-year-old says he plans to return and hopes to mentor young Saudi talent

RIYADH: An Italian screenwriter has described Saudi Arabia as having “amazing culture and traditions” after delighting cinemagoers with his very first screening in the Kingdom.

But 25-year-old Giacomo Mazzariol said he was nervous about how people might react to his film, “My Brother Chases Dinosaurs.”

“While sitting and watching your movie from another country, your mind is full of fears and doubts,” he told Arab News.

“‘Will my film be welcomed well? Does everything make sense?’ I then relaxed because I realized that people who watched the film were really satisfied and they had a warmhearted reaction. They felt that it was an honest film, full of true emotions.”

Directed by countryman Stefano Cipani, the movie was screened on June 17 as part of the inaugural European Film Festival, which saw 14 European films shown at The Esplanade VOX Cinema in Riyadh.

Mazzariol said the audience was intrigued with the movie and asked him many questions after the screening.

“The people laughed a lot because the film is full of lightness and humor, but also they took it seriously and they were fulfilled by the dramatic and touching parts.

“The story is about the emotional coming of age of my character (Gio), that goes from the incomprehension of the inner world of Gio to the complete acceptance and understanding of his diversity. The journey goes through rage and shame, surprise and courage, fraternity and solitude, and it starts from the birth of Gio till he grows up and becomes a teenager.”

While in Saudi Arabia, Mazzariol and a delegation from the EU were also set to hold a workshop for local talent in collaboration with the Alkhobar-based Arabia Pictures Group, but the event had to be postponed.

“The Kingdom has amazing culture and traditions that should be communicated more to people all over the world, not only with tourism but also through sharing local stories, through art based on nowadays life and perspectives,” he said.

“Arabia Pictures proposed to me to hold it (the workshop) during this edition of the festival, but we didn’t manage to make it happen this time. That is why I am supposed to come back to the Kingdom, during the next edition of the festival.”

Mazzariol said that on his return he hopes to be able to mentor young Saudis who are interested in the film and screenwriting business.

“I think the second edition will be in the late winter or beginning of spring. The main theme will be the relationship between books and movies based on my experience of creating the script of the movie based on my novel.”

He said he hoped to teach Saudi students how to analyze and compare the two arts of writing and film.

“This can be achieved through watching scenes of movies based on books and comparing them with the scenes of a book — Kafka’s works adapted, Dostoevsky works adapted, etc. — and also obtaining the knowledge to distinguish the unicity of those two forms of art.

“Some books are almost impossible to be shot, like ‘Ulysses’ by (James) Joyce, or the work of Proust. Not just for the number of pages, but because they reach a literary high peak which is very specific to literature,” he said.

Mazzariol said he had always had a passion for writing and loved literature classes in school.

“When I was in high school, with all the imagination and ideas that a teenager can have, I began writing for myself and tried to publish some articles.”

His career as a screenwriting began when he published a short film with his brother Gio on YouTube.

“My brother (Gio) with Down syndrome was in the film. It became viral and the person who would become my future editor contacted me to do a book on the video and my story.”

Speaking about the two days he spent in the Kingdom during the film festival, Mazzariol said: “What impressed me the most were the modern buildings, the skyscrapers, the entertainment areas, because it seems futuristic.

“It was the first time for me to visit Saudi Arabia. I love traveling and discovering new countries and thanks to the festival’s organizers and the embassy of Italy, I could get in touch with Saudis that know Saudi Arabia well.

“In the markets of the old town, I got a sensation of being at the door of another world, because there were incredible products from all over the Middle East and Asia.”

The writer said he spent some time studying in King Fahad National Library before exploring some of the natural desert landscapes the Kingdom has to offer.

“I loved the hot winds, sand as far as the eye can see. It was very inspiring because I have always read books from that scenario, for example, ‘One Thousand and One Nights,’ but never experienced it.

“The hospitality of the European Film Festival was very high standard and well done, I thank them a lot. I hope the festival will have great success also in the next editions. I know for sure it is going to be bigger and bigger.”