DUBAI: Mohammed Al-Turki, Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Festival’s CEO, attended the opening ceremony of 80th edition of the Venice Film Festival, which kicked off on Wednesday.
He posed on the red carpet wearing a black tuxedo by Italian luxury fashion house Giorgio Armani.
Al-Turki was joined by Lebanese presenter Raya Abirached, who wore an off-white guipure mermaid gown adorned with delicate tassels of leaves and crystals by Syrian designer Rami Al-Ali.
The gown was from the couturier’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection.
Another Arab designer whose work was spotted on the red carpet was Lebanese celebrity designer Zuhair Murad.
Italian model Paola Turani wore a fitted white halter dress, from Murad’s Resort 2024 collection, adorned with intricate embellishments detailing.
Al-Turki and Abirached were not the only Arab celebrities at the opening ceremony.
The event was also attended by Tunisian film director Kaouther ben Hania, Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri and Moroccan filmmaker Faouzi Bensaïdi.
In the coming days, fans are also expected to spot Lebanese filmmaker and actress Nadine Labaki on the red carpet as she is part of this year’s jury.
She is joined by French Cesar-winning actor and producer Elsa Zylberstein, Mexican actor and Oscar nominee Yalitza Aparicio, British-Nigerian screenwriter Misan Sagay and renowned Italian director Stefano Savona.
The world’s longest-running film festival was due to start with “Challengers,” a tennis romance with one of the biggest stars of her generation, Zendaya.
But it was replaced at the last minute by an Italian war drama, “Comandante,” due to the ongoing strikes by Hollywood actors and writers – primarily over pay and the threat of AI – that has barred them from publicity work.
The rest of the line-up was largely unaffected: the festival will see Emma Stone as a Frankenstein-like creature in “Poor Things” and Bradley Cooper as legendary conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro,” among several Oscar contenders.