Last night, Saudi Arabia hosted the opening of its very first film festival, and as one would imagine, the evening was an unforgettable one, bringing together not just talent from the Middle East, but from all over the world. On the star-studded guest list were the likes of jury member Hend Sabri and iconic actors Yousra and Lebleba, along with Ahd Kamel, Mila Al Zahrani, Karen Wazen, Tara Emad, Rawkan Binbella, Cynthia Samuel, Mahira Abdelaziz, Razane Jammal, Saba Mubarak, and Rym Saidi. And joining them for the historic celebration were international names including Hilary Swank and Michele Morrone. The evening also gave a special honor to Egyptian actor Laila Elwi, French actor, singer, model and producer Catherine Deneuve, and Saudi filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour.
Among the many names on the red carpet last night, the Red Sea International Film Festival was also attended by a league of supers—aka, some of the world’s most loved supermodels. Take a closer look at all the runway personalities who flew over to Jeddah to celebrate Arab talent and the many contributions of Arab cinema.
“Being part Saudi Arabian myself, [the Red Sea International Film Festival] is very special for me, and it’s a very special trip. It’s very exciting to see history being made today,” a glowing Shanina Shaik revealed on the red carpet in Jeddah last night. For her evening out in the kingdom, the 30-year-old opted for a sparkling black Mônot gown with sheer draping. The look was completed with a sleek updo.
Draped in an elegant Zuhair Murad gown complete with mid-waist cut-outs and embellished detailing, Alessandra Ambrosio was a vision in white at the Red Sea International Film Festival. Having traveled to the Kingdom in the past, the Brazilian model revealed to Vogue Arabia that she was thrilled to be back in the region, especially for such a momentous occasion.
For Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel, one of the highlights of the Red Sea International Film Festival was the premiere of the musical Cyrano, starring Peter Dinklage and Haley Bennett. The South African model and philanthropist walked the red carpet in Jeddah in a less-is-more ivory gown, which came with a dramatically long trail. Her custom-made pick was also a Mônot creation.
Russian beauty Irina Shayk seemed to go the minimalistic route for her appearance at Jeddah’s debut film festival, posing for the cameras on the red carpet in an ebony gown with a boat neck and full sleeves. The surprise elements of her look were the gown’s plunging back, and Shayk’s beauty look, which stood out for her crimson lip color.
Bursting with energy on the red carpet, Portuguese model Sara Sampaio attended the festival in another Zuhair Murad ensemble. Her pick: an intricately beaded charcoal grey halter gown, which was complemented with a collection of glimmering diamond rings. Sampaio spent her evening cheering on friend Mohammed Al Turki, the Chairman of Red Sea International Film Festival. “I’m just really proud of him!” she told Vogue Arabia on the red carpet with a grin.