Jeddah: Celebrities from around the globe including Hollywood A-listers Will Smith, Johnny Depp, Diane Kruger, Turkish superstar Burak Ozcivit, and Bollywood’s Ranveer Singh flocked to the opening night of the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah on Thursday evening. Oscar-winning actor Will Smith even came up with the word “spectabulous”, a combination of spectacular and fabulous.
“It’s exciting and a beautiful night. The Saudi hospitality is ‘spectabulous’ … This is my second time here and I was here in Jeddah and Alula seven months ago. I love the energy where the ancient and the brand new mingle so seamlessly,” said Smith to a reporter on the red carpet.
He was visibly in a jolly and cheeky mood. Asked how he prepares for his roles these days, he went: “Lots of sleep and lots of moisturizer – it’s getting more important as I get older,” said Smith.
The star-wattage of the night was epic as it saw heavyweights like Johnny Depp, Sharon Stone, and Ed Westwick walked the red carpet.
The glittering opening ceremony also saw acting powerhouses Abdullah Al-Sadhan, Hollywood actress Diane Kruger and Bollywood star Ranveer Singh being honoured for their body of work. Singh was given the award by Sharon Stone, who spoke highly of the actor’s movies and versatility.
“This is a huge honour, I have grown up watching you perform since childhood,” said Singh.
Turkish superstar Ozcivit, known for his hit show ‘Kurulus: Osman’, also expressed his excitement at being a part of the RSIFF, which is now in its third year.
“It’s great to be here … I want to be in a Saudi series, but I don’t have time and my schedule is full. Why not prepare together?” said Ozcivit, expressing interest in a Turkish-Saudi collaboration.
The opening night film was the fantasy film HWJN, starring Baraa Alem, Naif Aldaferi, and actress Nour Alkhadra.
More than 100 films will be screened in the next ten days at this festival concluding on December 9.
The closing film is the Hollywood film ‘Ferrari’ starring Adam Driver as the iconic founder of the Italian car company. The movie is partly funded by Red Sea International Film Financing.
Apart from films, a series of masterclasses led by the likes of Ranveer Singh, Karan Johar, Katrina Kaif will be held on the sidelines.