DUBAI: Debutant Spanish actress Federica Garcia turned heads on the 80th Venice International Film Festival’s red carpet as she showed off an elegant gown by Syrian designer Rami Al-Ali.
The actress, who was attending the premiere of “Poor Things,” stars in “A Cielo Abierto,” the debut feature of Mexican filmmaker-siblings Mariana and Santiago Arriaga, competing at the festival’s Orizzonti sidebar.
The coming-of-age road movie follows two teen brothers bent on avenging their father’s death in a road accident. They are joined by their stepsister (Garcia) who, unaware of their intentions at first, later becomes a willing accomplice.
Based on an original screenplay by their Oscar-nominated father, Guillermo Arriaga (“Babel,” “21 Grams”), “A Cielo Abierto” is set in northern Mexico’s Coahuila desert, where, as children, the Arriaga siblings would go hunting with their father.
“Much more than the films we’ve seen, these trips we took with our father, the people we met and places we discovered, are what have influenced our work,” they said in an interview with Variety.
On the location, Guillermo said: “We wanted to covert this landscape into another lead character of the film. My daughter and son shot in the most merciless conditions: scorching sun, sweltering afternoons, to pass in just a few days to rain, blustering icy wind and temperatures below zero.”
Meanwhile, Mohammed Al-Turki, CEO of the Red Sea Film Festival, attended the opening ceremony of the Venice Film Festival 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, also by Al-Ali 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, which was also attended by Tunisian film director Kaouther ben Hania, Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri and Moroccan filmmaker Faouzi Bensaidi.