Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Nic Cage are among the high-profile names that have been added to the popular ‘In-Conversation’ sidebar section at the third edition of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Festival. Scroll down for the full list of attendees.
Further In-Conversation add-ons include Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt and Andrew Garfield.
They join previously announced attendees such as Ranveer Singh (Gully Boy), Katrina Kaif (Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara), Yasmine Sabri (Bogeyman), Will Smith, Bollywood legend Karan Johar (My Name is Khan), and Baz Lurhmann, the head of this year’s competition jury at Red Sea.
“The In Conversation line-up this year has some of the most iconic names in entertainment from across the globe, who are each trailblazers in their fields,” Mohammed Al-Turki, CEO of the Red Sea International Film, Festival said. “They are converging on Jeddah to give festival-goers an insight into their work and inspiration – from multihyphenate creators who fire our imaginations to actors who light up our screens bringing stories to life – we can’t wait to welcome this group to join us at Red Sea IFF 2023.”
The full In-Conversation line up so far:
In Conversation with CATHERINE MARTIN
Catherine Martin, a four-time Oscar-winning Production Designer, Costume Designer, and Producer, is renowned for her 30-year collaboration with husband Baz Luhrmann across film, theatre, TV, opera and fashion. Beginning at Australia’s prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art, she earned early acclaim for theatre and opera design. Transitioning to film with Strictly Ballroom in 1992, Martin received two BAFTA awards. Notable projects include Romeo + Juliet – for which she received her first Academy Award nomination – and the acclaimed Moulin Rouge!, which earned her Academy Awards in both Costume Design and Art Direction. She co-produced, designed, and costumed Australia, receiving another Academy Award nomination. For her work producing and designing The Great Gatsby, she won two more Academy Awards, after which she went on to executive produce Luhrmann’s Netflix series The Get Down. Most recently, for Elvis, she was nominated for three more Academy Awards as a producer, production, and costume designer. Beyond film, she has guest edited Vogue and Vogue Living in
Australia, designed two campaigns for Chanel No. 5 and designed Broadway hit La Boheme, and established her own eponymous home furnishings brand. Martin divides her time between New York and the Gold Coast with Luhrmann and their two children.
In Conversation with KAOUTHER BEN HANIA
Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania studied cinema in Tunisia and in Paris (Femis and la Sorbonne). She directed several shorts, features and documentaries, including: The Man Who Sold His Skin, Beauty and the Dogs, Zaineb Hates the Snow, The Challat of Tunis. All of her other titles have played in the most prestigious of film festivals such as Cannes, Venice and Locarno.
In Conversation with the GODUS BROS
Faris Godus began directing digital content in 2010, gaining more than 450 million views for his videos. His 2016 short Predicament in Sight screened in the Saudi Film Days Festival in California and was then released on Netflix. Now aged 27, he is passionate about telling stories – as both director and creative producer – stemming from the local culture.
Sohayb Godus is a writer, actor, producer and satire host. He worked for 5 years managing Jeddah branch for Telfaz11, to finally reside on becoming the MD of Tape Productions. Sohayb’s wittiness puts him in the forefront of the stature and comedy scene in the region, achieving more than 500 million views under Telfaz11 network. Furthermore, he has well established his acting career by playing roles on shows such as Khambalah, Kees and Predicament in Sight which has screened on Netflix. Lately, he just finished Shams Al Maarif his first feature film and was set to premiere at the Red Sea Film Festival.
In Conversation with KARAN JOHAR moderated by Tatiana Siegal
Producer, director, talk show host and an entrepreneur, Karan Johar is one of the most notable Indian filmmakers today with the honour of being a Padma Shri awardee. The multi-faceted Karan wears many caps with ease. Besides being an acclaimed director in the Indian film industry for the past 25 years and one of the most influential men today; Karan is also a television personality, a talk show host and a mentor to new talents across the spectrum. His talk show Koffee With Karan has the distinction of being the most watched English talk show on Indian television and is now ruling over the OTT space as well. In addition to personal success and accomplishment, Karan Johar has also been a mentor to many successful directors in India. Directors have flourished under his guidance and support as a producer, releasing both commercial blockbusters like Agneepath, Dostana, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, Shershaah (a national award-winning film) & the recent blockbuster, Brahmastra – as well as critical successes like Wake Up Sid, Kapoor & Sons and Gehraiyaan. Marking his 25th anniversary year as a director, he released his directorial comeback Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani which within thirty days of its release became the highest grossing romantic-comedy Hindi film overseas. He also successfully built three branches of the Dharma empire – Dharmatic Entertainment, Dharma 2.0 and Dharma Cornerstone Agency.
The name Karan Johar is synonymous with prestige, elegance, versatility and success. He is amongst a prolific group of Indian filmmakers who have brought about a fresh and modern outlook to Indian commercial cinema and has contributed greatly to the transformation of Hindi cinema from his very first film.
In Conversation with WILL SMITH moderated by Raya Abirached, Journalist, MBC
Will Smith, a multi-talented artist, has garnered acclaim as an actor, producer, musician, and bestselling author. With an impressive array of awards, including an Academy Award, Grammy, SAG Award, BAFTA, and NAACP awards, Smith has excelled in film, television, and music. Notable for his roles in King Richard, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, I Am Legend, Bad Boys, Ali, Pursuit of Happiness and Men in Black, he has expanded into producing and co-founded Westbrook Inc. a media company that aims to empower artists globally.
Currently, he delves into podcasting with Class of ’88 and continues to lead Westbrook Studios, overseeing projects like Bel-Air and a diverse slate of upcoming films and TV series.
In Conversation with AMINA KHALIL
Amina Khalil is a prominent actress in Egyptian TV and cinema. Khalil trained at The Lee Strasberg Institute for Theatre & Film, New York, and the Moscow Art Theatre, Russia. Khalil has also made her way through the silver screen by taking different iconic roles in movies like The Cell, 122, The Suit, Sheik Jackson, Curfew and lately Wish Fi Wish, which was a great success across the Middle East. Khalil is known for her diverse and challenging roles ranging from the hit show Grand Hotel, to the dark and complex crime series Qabeel, and Why Not, where Khalil portrayed a strong Egyptian female protagonist. Khalil’s most recent work includes the successful series, Seventh Year Itch. Amina has shared the screen with other well-known figures in Arab Cinema including Adel Emam, Samir Ghanem and Elham Shahin.
In Conversation with DHAFER L’ABIDINE
In 2021, Dhafer L’Abidine directed his first feature film Ghodwa, which he co-wrote, starred in and produced it through his company Double A Productions. Ghodwa premiered at the Cairo International Film Festival and won the FIPRESCI award for best film. To My Son is his second feature film which he also co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in. As an actor Dhafer has enjoyed a successful career in the West and in the Middle East. He started his acting career in the UK and has appeared in numerous international film productions such as Children of Men, Sex and the City 2 and Centurion. On the small screen he can be seen in the Netflix French-speaking series The Eddy, produced and directed by Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle. In the Arab world, Dhafer won ‘Best Actor’ awards for his roles in the two Egyptian series Eugenie Nights and Halawat Al Dounia. His latest role in the hugely successful MBC series Aroos Beirut brought him more critical and public acclaim across the Arab world.
In Conversation with HALLE BERRY
For her brilliant performance in Monster’s Ball, Halle Berry – actor, producer and director – won the Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the first Black woman to ever receive that honor. Since then, she has continued to break down barriers acting in a multitude of critically acclaimed, diverse roles and most recently added the title of director to her already impressive filmography with the release of Netflix’s Bruised, which she also produced and starred in.
No stranger to accolades, Berry also earned the Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and NAACP Image Award for her extraordinary performance in HBO’s telefilm, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, which she also produced, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in Frankie and Alice. In 2022, she was also honoured with the #SeeHer Award at the Critics’ Choice Awards for her efforts in advocating for accurate portrayals of women and girls in advertising and media.
Berry has garnered praise not only for her roles on-screen, but for her philanthropic work with a range of organisations focusing on women and children and underserved communities. She is an active supporter and chair member of the Jenesse Center in Los Angeles, an organization founded in 1980 to assist victims of domestic violence and aims to change the pattern of abuse in the lives of women and children. She partnered with Michael Kors’ Watch Hunger Stop campaign and the United Nations World Food Programme to raise awareness for building a world with zero hunger. She has also joined forces with Novo Nordisk and the Entertainment Industry Foundation to launch the Diabetes Aware Campaign and has supported a vast number of charities and organizations such as, Revlon Run/Walk, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Afghanistan Relief Organization, Stand Up to Cancer, Love Our Children USA and Clothes Off Our Back and Black Lives Matter.
In Conversation with BAZ LUHRMANN
The legendary Academy Award® nominated auteur is known for being a master storyteller across film, opera, theatre and music, with his most recent film Elvis becoming the second-highest grossing musical biopic of all time globally. Luhrmann’s critically acclaimed filmography includes the double Academy Award-winning The Great Gatsby, Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, double Academy Award-winning Moulin Rouge, sweeping period epic Australia, and most recently his six-episode mini-series Faraway Downs, an expansion on the latter starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.
In Conversation with GWYNETH PALTROW and Jomana Al-Rashid
Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, whose 1998 turn in Shakespeare In Love garnered her Best Actress honors at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Academy Awards, is also a decorated author, singer and entrepreneur. Her notable film credits include Proof (for which she received a Golden Globe nomination), Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums, Anthony Mighella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, David Fincher’s Se7en, the Farrelly Brothers’ Shallow Hal, Alfonso Cuarón’s Great Expectations, Douglas McGrath’s Emma, Sliding Doors and Marvel’s Iron Man franchise.
In 2011, she won an Emmy for Guest Actress in a Comedy series for playing substitute teacher Holly Holiday on Glee, and her song, Coming Home, from the soundtrack for Country Strong, was nominated for an Oscar (the album went gold). In addition, Paltrow has authored four New York Times Best Selling cookbooks, My Father’s Daughter, It’s All Good, It’s All Easy and The Clean Plate.
In 2008, Paltrow founded goop from her kitchen table. Goop has grown into a brand devoted to helping women make their own choices count in the various facets of their lives – from style, travel, work, food, and beauty to physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. After serving as goop’s Chief Creative Officer since its inception, Paltrow assumed the CEO mantle in 2016, leading the company’s primarily female team of more than 190 to exponential growth.