Dhafer L’Abidine is among the many Arab stars taking the 79th edition of the Venice Film Festival by storm. As a revered Tunisian actor and regional ambassador for Cartier, which is the main sponsor of the festival, L’Abidine walked the red carpet at the opening ceremony, attended by renowned names like Catherine Deneuve, and Julianne Moore. The star looked dapper in a classic black tuxedo paired with a bow tie, and a stunning Cartier timepiece to complete the outfit.
Vogue Arabia caught up with L’Abidine to find out more about his experience at the Venice Film Festival, the key to his red carpet style, and more.
What are your essentials for traveling to Venice?
The essentials I would like to take with me are of course the excitement of being in such a great festival along with all the charm.
What are you looking forward to the most at the 79th edition of the festival?
What I’m looking forward to mainly is the amazing selection of films that comes from four corners of the world. They are completely different— from independent low budgets to big budgets, to new talent and seasoned stars. I think that the combination of films carries so many stories, that are exciting, different, and authentic. That’s what’s exciting about the festival.
What are the highlights of day one of the festival for you?
I think the highlight of day one is from the time you leave your hotel, getting to the boat or a taxi to the main event, arriving there, the arrival and just seeing everyone, and to seeing the public there, the enthusiasm. That energy is so amazing and positive. I think that’s really a special feeling, especially on day one, the first time everyone was there just waiting there for the festival to start, and that’s a really amazing energy that I think people will carry during the whole festival.
What according to you is the key to nailing red carpet style at the Venice Film Festival?
I think the main thing is to truly feel comfortable with whatever you choose to wear. That’s the main idea. If you are comfortable then you will look comfortable. That’s so important. The key is to be happy with whatever you choose and be confident about your choice, and it will look good on you.
What do you love the most about walking the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival?
What’s great about the red carpet in Venice is the presence of the public that is around the red carpet, and their enthusiasm. The festival has to be honest with the fact that it’s really about the energy of the people who love cinema who were there to just watch films and to see what’s going on, and the latest works that have been selected for the Venice Film Festival.
What does a typical day during the Venice Film Festival look like for you?
I think a typical day will start with a lovely coffee because I’m in Italy, then I’ll have a nice trip on a boat and enjoy the amazing scenery. Later, I will watch films, and enjoy meeting people from the industry which is what the whole festival is about. It is about the workshops, the films, the meetings and just being aware of what’s happening around the world with all the new projects, the new ideas, discovering new talents and meeting new people.