Hoping to see Omar Sharif or George Clooney this year at the Middle East International Film Festival? Don't get your hopes up. The two stars, whose films will be respectively opening and closing the festival, will not be attending.

However, tabloid! can reveal some hearts will be set aflutter when Kivanç Tatiltug, star of the massive regional hit television series Noor, will make his way down the red carpet during the premiere of Al Mosafer (The Traveller), on Wednesday.

Another star who sends her regrets is Vanessa Redgrave, a guest of honour who was supposed to receive the first Black Pearl Award of the festival, for Lifetime Achievement. Instead, a close friend will be accepting it on her behalf, as Redgrave — who lost her daughter Natasha Richardson in a ski accident earlier this year — will no longer attend, as she learnt yesterday a friend has been hospitalised.

Jason Wu, the rising fashion star who was famously hand-picked to dress US First Lady Michelle Obama for an inauguration ball earlier this year, will attend MEIFF for a conference on fashion in film.

Wu recently presented his spring-summer collection at New York Fashion Week and is expected to present insights into the fast-moving and capricious world of fashion. The conference is on the sidelines of the Middle East premiere of The September Issue, a documentary which follows American Vogue editor Anna Wintour and her team as they compile the magazine's biggest issue.