Bella Hadid fronts latest Versace campaign – Arab News

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DUBAI: Bella Hadid is the star of Versace’s campaign for the Italian brand’s new Virtus handbag. Inspired by the Roman deity symbolizing strength and courage, the part-Palestinian model features in the new campaign shot by fashion photography duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.
Hadid reposted the advertorial images on Instagram, calling it “an honor every time” to front a Versace campaign.
 “A meeting of icons — supermodel @bellahadid captures the feminine confidence of the #VersaceVirtus collection,” the brand shared on social media.
The Virtus bags collection features tote, shoulder, top handle, evening and belt bags. The leather handbag is characterized by the central gold-tone metal Barocco letter V hardware.

Hadid stars in the Versace Fall 2022 campaign. Instagram

Clad in all black, Hadid poses with a quilted version of the statement bag wearing three different outfits.
Stylist Jacob K. paired the bags and accessories with a cropped sweater and bodysuit. Hadid is also pictured wearing a belt and gold jewelry. As for her beauty look, the US-Dutch-Palestinian supermodel showed off a voluminous, retro-inspired hairstyle crafted by Paul Hanlon.
The model recently appeared in the Italian fashion house’s Spring 2021 campaign and is also the face of Versace Dylan Blue fragrance.

Bella Hadid hit the runway during the Versace Spring 2020 show. Getty Images

The fashion icon, who was born to Palestinian real estate mogul Mohamed Hadid and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Yolanda Hadid, made her modeling debut aged 17. Since then, she has walked runways for world-famous brands, including Off-White, Miu Miu, Mugler, Boss, Versace, Fendi, Max Mara, Burberry, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tom Ford, Jean-Paul Gaultier and many more. 
Despite her busy schedule, the model recently took time off to celebrate her 25th birthday with her family and close friends.
A post by Albanian-British singer Dua Lipa on Instagram showed Bella dancing the night away, following a Palestinian dinner with her family. But before the celebrations began, her older sister Gigi posted a sweet at-home photo of Bella with her one-year-old niece Khai.
“We celebrate you today and every day @bellahadid,” wrote Gigi. “She’s my baby sister but also a firecracker of a spiritual body guard and a forever protector as an auntie.”
JEDDAH: A Saudi film that earned a standing ovation at its Red Sea International Film Festival screening has been described by its lead actor as a “a story for everybody.”
“Champions” is a Saudi remake of one of the Spanish box office hit “Campeones,” a sports comedy about a basketball coach who works with a team of mentally disabled players. The film won best picture at the Spanish Film Academy Goya Awards 2018.
In the Saudi version, actor Yassir Al-Saggaf plays the part of an arrogant assistant football coach, Khalid, ordered by a court to do community service coaching of players with intellectual disabilities.
In a sit-down with Arab News, the Saudi actor said that the film is a “wake-up call for those unwilling to break out of their rigid ways.”
He added: “The children affect the way the coach thinks, the way he lives, and the way he acts around people. He’s arrogant, but these kids make him softer, more calm, more understanding, and you can see that throughout the movie.”
Based on Spanish director Javier Fesser’s hit film, the Saudi adaptation is directed by Manuel Calvo.
Besides Al-Saggaf, the diverse cast of young actors includes Omar Al-Zahrani, Khalid Al-Harbi and Fatima Al-Banawi.
Speaking on the sidelines of the RSIFF, Al-Saggaf shared his experience filming the movie, which took nine months to complete.
A love of football is at the heart of the film, the actor said, with the coach helping to train the team of young players and get them into shape for a game.
‘Champions’ received a standing ovation at the Red Sea International Festival.
“However, he finds his rigid ways can’t be applied due to the humble nature of the young group, prompting him to find other ways to go for the win.”
Hard work by the Al-Saggaf and his fellow cast members, as well as the entire production team, has paid off, with the film earning a standing ovation at its RSIFF screening.
The actor said that the success of the film could be due to the fact that the character of Khalid is found in every society.
“They need to see this movie as a reality check and a means to change their way of thinking. It’s a good message,” he added.
Though the film is a version of the Spanish original, Al-Saggaf told Arab News that one of the most important considerations in making “Champions” was ensuring that it was an authentic Saudi story.
“When we first sat down to discuss the film, I asked that we have Saudis in every role in the making of the film. There’s a director, and there’s a Saudi ad (assistant director), even if it’s a second ad. If there is a Spanish role, there is a Saudi shadow as a way to transfer the know-how,” he said.
In the Kingdom’s youthful film sector, “Champions” shows how shared knowledge and experience can be achieved by exchanging expertise.
“By such transfer of knowledge, the group of people who made ‘Champions’ can do it alone. Tomorrow we will have tens of projects from around the world, and Saudis can shadow these major roles, and you’ll have great Saudi movies in the next coming years.”
He’s arrogant, but these kids make him softer, more calm, more understanding, and you can see that throughout the movie.
Yassir Al-Saggaf, Saudi actor
Al-Saggaf said that the crew behind the film met all the goals required to make the film a success.
“Champions” is just one of many roles for Al-Saggaf, a TV presenter and radio host with a string of acting gigs to his name.
Al-Saggaf said that he plans to continue acting so that he can prove himself in the Kingdom’s budding film sector.
According to the actor, the film “made a point, putting me out there as a Saudi actor. I can keep adding content in the sector as long as I’m doing it right. I’m adding to the entertainment sector and giving back to society.”
Meanwhile, the launch of the Kingdom’s first international film festival has raised the sector to another level, giving Saudi filmmakers the chance to compete for a place in the spotlight.
“The Saudi movie sector needs a lot of content,” Al-Saggaf said.
“Today we have already opened the doors with RSIFF right here in Jeddah. These doors are open for all filmmakers who are passionate about this industry, and today we come in with one of the first Saudi movies with a different direction in regards to content and cast. You can see the diversity between Yassir, Fatimah and the kids,” he said.
“The story is all about how these children have health problems, but still act normal. They can do anything they want and live just like everybody else,” Al-Saggaf added.
JEDDAH: Egyptian film star Youssra has told an audience at the Red Sea Film Festival of her hopes for the future of Saudi cinema.
Her comments came during an interview with Saudi actor Yassir Al-Saggaf on the seventh day of the Jeddah-based event.
Considered one of the most famous and popular movie stars in the history of Arab film, the icon of Egyptian cinema has starred in more than 80 films and won more than 50 awards at Egyptian, Arab and international film festivals.
She co-starred in 17 films with famous Egyptian comedian Adel Imam. “I am so lucky to have this big number of films with him. Adil and I — the chemistry between us is of a high level, and that is one secret for success, that each actor should feel and act upon. To engage with your work partner is to produce a good scene,” she told the audience.
Youssra shared with the audience her secret to creating realistic drama, based on a lifetime of acting experience.
“To get an excellent film, there must be harmony, love and understanding between a film director and an actor,” she said.
“A director has to have a vision and hold on to the actor in difficult situations.”
One example of that was her experience working with internationally renowned film director Yusuf Shaheen, she said. While shooting for a film, Youssra discovered that she was pregnant, preventing her from taking part in the film. But Shaheen paused filming for one year until the actress was ready to return to work.
Youssra said: “Acting is not easy, it is a diverse experience. Each film, each person I met added something to my personality and you need to try as many experiences as you can, so you become successful. You also need to fail, which will allow you to taste what it means to be a success.”
The star stressed that actors should acquire specific skills to survive in the industry: “Acting might require you to stay on duty for more than two days at times. Thus, you have to be assured, calm and comfortable before you start acting in a scene.
“There has to be a level of trust between you, the crew and the cameraman. You should trust that they will make sure you look your best while filming. If not, they will advise you to rest.”
Peter Scarlet, the former artistic director of the San Francisco International Film Festival for 19 years, was among the audience at the RSIFF event.
Like many fans of the iconic star, Scarlet has followed Youssra’s career and supported her throughout.
Addressing the panel, he said: “I had the pleasure of hosting and introducing Youssra in San Francisco and New York. Youssra, you were and are not only a great star and actress, but I think the best ambassador for cinema — Arab cinema.”
She replied: “Thank you Peter. Through you I was introduced to the whole world.
“I consider myself very lucky to have had the chance to work with all the big names, such as Omer Aldhareef, Noor Alshareef, Mahmoud Yassin and more,” she said.
Youssra has spent the past week joining in the RSIFF festivities. She noted the enthusiasm and care she found in Saudis of all ages and finished with an important piece of advice for the audience: “Be patient. Do not rush to stardom and love your career for what it is.
“Try and fail, and learn how to choose the right time, and the circumstances of your career. Remember, no one jumps to success.
“I want to see Saudi films that speak to the world, not to a certain region, so the world understands what and who you are.”
RIYADH: The XP Music Conference by MDLBEAST — a three-day event leading up to SoundStorm — kicks off on Monday, welcoming local and international artists for panel discussions, workshops and more.
Held in Jax, Diriyah, in collaboration with the Saudi Music Commission, the conference aims to lay the foundations for a thriving music industry in the Kingdom, with 17 different workshops, meetings, keynotes and discussion panels.
“Here in Saudi Arabia, more than 50 percent of the population are under 25 and we have a lot of hidden talents, and so we have a lot of opportunities,” said Nada Alhelabi, director of the XP Music Conference. “And what we want to do is give that talent the tools and exposure so that they can learn and consider music as a career.”
Chief Creative Officer Ahmad Alammary, aka Saudi DJ Baloo, told Arab News: “It’s exciting, especially with XP, you know, it’s future-building, right? Our tagline is ‘amplify music futures’ and, by that, we actually mean that we are supporting the music industry, we’re pushing it to grow.”
The conference will be built on four main pillars — talent, scene, policy and impact — which will operate as building blocks for the development of the music industry in the region. According to the conference organizers, this first-of-its-kind event in the Kingdom will expand opportunities for the country’s music industry.
The conference will be built on four main pillars — talent, scene, policy and impact — which will operate as building blocks for the development of the music industry in the region. According to the conference organizers, this first-of-its-kind event in the Kingdom will expand opportunities for the country’s music industry.
“We have several topics about education, about content development, about how the talent can consider music as a career,” Alhelabi told Arab News. “We will look at things like promoting the scene. Basically, since our scene here in the region is new, what kind of setup do we need here? How can we provide more platforms for the talent to train and get practice? How can we collaborate with different industries?”
Among those attending will be people representing diverse labels, publishers, talent, nongovernmental organizations, events companies, entrepreneurs and industry media.
On day one of XP, the talent-building block will be addressed through six events, including the official opening, which will feature some of the best up-and-coming local music talents, followed by a reaction panel titled “How do I get into the music industry?”
The scene-building block will be thoroughly covered in 10 workshops on the first day of XP, starting with an open educational event covering music copyrights. That will be followed by an in-depth discussion covering the growth of the music media industry in Saudi Arabia.
Day one of XP also addresses the impact of the music industry through an engaging workshop operated by the founding members of collective SheSaid, who will share their vision on how to achieve gender parity in the music industry.
Following the XP Music Conference, MDLBEAST’s SoundStorm — the largest music festival in the region — is back for the second time and will offer four days of thrills.
JEDDAH: A lovely mix of rap, defiance and tradition combine in a compelling Moroccan work, “Casablanca Beats,” by Nabil Ayouch (“Horses of God,” “Razzia”). Part of the ongoing inaugural edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah, the film uses music as an intergenerational force to bring about change in a Casablanca suburb. The first ever title from the country to be picked for the official competition at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, Ayouch’s creation boasts soul-searching music set to hip-hop beats that will instantly capture the audience.
In a way, music becomes an escapist adventure for youngsters, a means to let off their steam against dogmatism. It is an interesting mix of documentary and fiction as the non-professional cast play fictional versions of themselves.

Ayouch takes us to the outskirts of the city, where rapper Anas Basbousi (who plays himself) begins to build a program at a real-life arts center called Les Etoiles de Sidi Moumen.  In his first class, he explains how hip-hop has brought about change in the US by giving a voice to the disenfranchised and providing a powerful means to express political discontentment.

He pushes kids, even the shy among them, to write about their own experiences and narrate them in a sing-song manner, but quickly faces pushback from some parents and even a local imam who feels that nothing good can possibly come out of music.
After the initial hesitation, the rapport between the teacher and his pupils turns warm and cordial, just like the music, which has a soothing feel. The place where the film is set looks like a Parisian suburb, an indication perhaps that the world is getting smaller.
An amateur cast with individuals who are as good as professional actors, and a marvelous mix of fact and fiction, captured beautifully by Virginie Surdej and Amine Messadi’s dynamic camera work, push “Casablanca Beats” into realms hitherto unheard of for a hip-hop focused film. Most importantly, original compositions by Mike and Fabien Kourtzer shine bright in this riveting piece of cinema — but as for the students’ raps, we are only given fragments so audiences could be left wanting for more.
DUBAI: Saudi filmmaker and actress Fatima Al-Banawi is proving she’s a force to be reckoned with both in terms of fashion and film at the ongoing Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah.
The star has made a number of red carpet appearances at the festival so far in an array of gowns by designers from across the Arab world, including one show-stopping look by a Saudi label.
A post shared by Fatima • فاطِــمَة (@fatima_albanawi)
Before that, Al-Banawi dazzled fans and photographers in a sea blue gown by Lebanese designer-to-the-stars Zuhair Murad, complete with billowing sleeves, ruffled details and panels of elegant sheer material.
“Lots of smiles and moments of gratitude to our dreamy youthful days, to the resilient forces, to the collective energies, to hearts that beat with stories… and stories to tell,” she captioned a carousel of photos posted on Instagram at the time.
Styled by Cedric Haddad, the star finished off the look with sparkling jewelry by Cartier, which is only fitting considering the French fine jewelry fashion house unveiled Al-Banawi as its Middle East ambassador in June.
Next up, Al-Banawi — who directed part of an omnibus film titled “Becoming” that recently screened at the festival — was photographed wearing a form-fitting red gown by Saudi label Honayda.
A post shared by Fatima • فاطِــمَة (@fatima_albanawi)
Designer Honayda Serafi has seen her gowns sported by the who’s who of Hollywood, including Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Lupita Nyong’o, so it is only fitting that Al-Banawi opted to champion the label on a jaunt down the red carpet in Jeddah.
The one-shoulder look featured exquisite embroidery on the neckline and draped material on its single sleeve. The striking color was a bold choice for Al-Banawi, who pulled it off with panache.
“Five female directors, five producers, and an umbrella of executive producers overlooking and structuring from top, it was worth the wait. Tonight, our work becomes complete with an audience! What a humbling and rewarding moment,” the director posted alongside a clutch of photos detailing her journey down the red carpet at the screening of “Becoming.”
Other outfits she has shown off at the festival so far include a tiered lacy look in dusty pink, as well as a dramatic monochromatic gown with an oversized ruffle on one shoulder at the “Daughters of Abdulrahman” premiere on Dec. 10.
The multi-hyphenate studied Psychology at Jeddah’s Effat University and then went on to pursue her master’s degree in Theological Studies at Harvard.
She first gained prominence for her role in the 2016 drama “Barakah Meets Barakah.”
She also starred in Egyptian Netflix series “Paranormal.”
In 2020, she directed her first short film “Until We See Light.” That same year, she co-wrote, co-directed and starred in “Al-Shak,” a Shahid Original series, which she shot fully from home during the pandemic. 


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