Pre­view: 9th Arab Film Fes­ti­val Ber­lin

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Arida, who is the hugely suc­cess­ful fash­ion blog­ger be­hind the brand N For Nour, took to the cat­walk in a monochrome, sporty en­sem­ble, com­plete with white an­kle-length boots.

The so­cial me­dia star, who has a fol­low­ing of more than 270,000 on her In­sta­gram ac­count, closed the show in a sur­real, al­most Dali-like gown, which she paired with slicked-back hair and min­i­mal­is­tic make-up.

Le­banese de­signer Hussien Bazaza is a fa­vorite among the Mid­dle East's fash­ion in­sid­ers and is known for his whim­si­cal, ethe­real gowns.

Bazaza, who has dressed mem­bers of the Emi­rati and Qatari royal fam­i­lies and Arab su­per­stars, was men­tored by

Elie Saab be­fore he launched his own line in 2012 and shot to fame for his off-the-wall cre­ations.

In March, Bazaza was se­lected as one of the re­gion's most in­flu­en­tial per­son­al­i­ties in the “Arab 30 un­der 30” list com­piled by Forbes Mid­dle East.

He also won the Best Emerg­ing De­signer award at The Mid­dle East Fash­ion Awards in 2015 and has dressed celebri­ties and pub­lic fig­ures such as Bol­ly­wood star Aish­warya Rai Bachchan, Queen Ra­nia of Jor­dan and Bri­tish su­per­model Naomi Camp­bell.

His lat­est col­lec­tion features flow­ing gowns with a sharp, al­most punk edge. Pix­e­lated heart icons and anime-style faces are im­printed on tops and over­sized bags while plung­ing neck­lines, glit­ter coats and thigh­high red boots also make an ap­pear­ance.

Amer­i­can-Le­banese style icon Nour Arida opened the Hus­sein Bazaza FW18 run­way show this week, show­ing off the up-and-com­ing de­signer’s cre­ations to a packed out crowd in Beirut.

The Arab Film Fes­ti­val Ber­lin (ALFILM) strides into its ninth edi­tion this month with a line-up that leans heav­ily on hard-hit­ting doc­u­men­taries, along­side gritty so­cial dra­mas and short films.

The fes­ti­val opens on April 11 with drama “Beauty and the Dogs,” from Tu­nisia's Kaouther Ben Ha­nia — one of two Arab au­teurs rep­re­sented in the 2017 Cannes Film Fes­ti­val's of­fi­cial se­lec­tion. Other high­lights in­clude the comedic “Wa­jib,” a UAE co-pro­duc­tion about a Pales­tinian ex­pat who makes the jour­ney home from Rome to Nazareth to hand out in­vites to his sis­ter's wed­ding. DUBAI: Born in Saudi Ara­bia and raised partly in Dubai, the Khadra sis­ters, known around the world by their moniker “Sim­iHaze,” are fa­mous for their high-fly­ing life­style and su­per­star friends.

The Pales­tini­ano­ri­gin sis­ters, who count Kylie and Ken­dall Jen­ner among their friends and reg­u­larly DJ at lux­ury events around the world, are not afraid to get po­lit­i­cal, how­ever.

This week, the pair shared an image of a book re­lat­ing to the is­sue of Pales­tinian state­hood. A sec­tion of the text re­lat­ing to the ap­par­ent lim­its of free think­ing and de­bate on the Is­raelPales­tine is­sue had been high­lighted.

“You're al­lowed to dis­cuss whether the Mideast ‘peace process' should be im­ple­mented im­me­di­ately… but you're not al­lowed to dis­cuss the fact … that this so-called ‘peace process' wiped out a … diplo­matic ef­fort rec­og­niz­ing the na­tional rights of both con­tent­ing par­ties…” an ex­cerpt from the pho­tographed pas­sage read.

Come Saturday morn­ing, how­ever, the post had been re­moved de­spite gar­ner­ing more than 1,900 likes on Fri­day night. The post had at­tracted thou­sands of com­ments, both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive.

It is not clear why the sis­ters chose to re­move the post, but it is not the first time they have used their so­cial me­dia pres­ence to make a po­lit­i­cal state­ment. In De­cem­ber, they shared a pho­to­graph of the Dome of the Rock with a cap­tion slam­ming US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump's de­ci­sion

to move the US em­bassy in Is­rael to Jerusalem. LOS ANGELES: Hollywood tough guy Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger has con­quered ter­ror­ists, mer­ce­nar­ies, aliens and fu­tur­is­tic ro­bots on the sil­ver screen but finds him­self in a real-life fight for health af­ter emer­gency heart surgery. The for­mer body­builder turned ac­tion star, politi­cian and cli­mate ac­tivist was in a sta­ble con­di­tion Fri­day, ac­cord­ing to his spokesman, fol­low­ing the op­er­a­tion — a re­lief to fans of his 50-plus movies.

Liv­ing proof of the Amer­i­can dream, Sch­warzeneg­ger has trans­formed him­self over the last half cen­tury from a poor Aus­trian coun­try boy into a global celebrity and one-time leader of the world's six­th­biggest econ­omy.

“I came here with ab­so­lutely noth­ing... And Cal­i­for­nia has given me ab­so­lutely every­thing,” Sch­warzeneg­ger once said of his time as Repub­li­can gov­er­nor of the fa­mously lib­eral state.

The son of a one-time Nazi po­lice chief, Sch­warzeneg­ger was born in the Aus­trian town of Graz on July 30, 1947, in an an­cient house that had no plumb­ing, no phone, no car­pets and just a few lights.

He went on to take Hollywood by storm af­ter his big break in 1982's “Co­nan the Bar­bar­ian.” Two years later he won the role of a killer cy­borg in “The Ter­mi­na­tor,” meld­ing hu­mor, pathos and ro­bot­ics into a new kind of cin­ema hero.

Nine of the 14 features in ALFILM's of­fi­cial se­lec­tion are doc­u­men­taries, and pol­i­tics is rarely far from the frame. “Hap­pily Ever Af­ter” por­trays the in­se­cu­rity of a gen­er­a­tion of young Egyp­tians com­ing of age amid the era's po­lit­i­cal tur­moil, while celebrated Syr­ian Civil War doc­u­men­taries “My Paradise” and “Mem­ory in Khaki” also fea­ture. Else­where, “17” fol­lows teenagers from the Jor­da­nian foot­ball team pre­par­ing for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, hosted in Jor­dan, while the UAE co-pro­duc­tion “Taste of Ce­ment” doc­u­ments the con­di­tions of Syr­ian con­struc­tion work­ers in Le­banon.

As well as con­tem­po­rary fare, clas­sic and over­looked pic­tures will be dusted off for the Spot­light se­lec­tion, which tack­les the theme “Re­flec­tions on Arab Mas­culin­i­ties” and is framed by two films from Al­ge­rian di­rec­tor Merzak Al­louache: his 1977 clas­sic “Omar Gat­lato” and chill­ing com­pan­ion piece “Madame Courage” (2015), while the sec­tion opens with the bound­ary prob­ing 2017 Le­banese doc­u­men­tary “Room for a Man.”

“As a large part of au­di­ences' in­ter­est is fo­cused on po­lit­i­cal tur­moil in the re­gion, or is­sues like liv­ing con­di­tions in dif­fer­ent ar­eas, the doc­u­men­taries of our pro­gram of­fer in­sight through a cin­e­matic lan­guage that caters to both the mind and the heart,” said head of pro­gram Clau­dia Jubeh. “So the ques­tion of so­cial jus­tice and la­bor is quite present in this year's se­lec­tion — which I think is the Arab con­tri­bu­tion to global ques­tions.”

Nour Arida is a hugely suc­cess­ful fash­ion blog­ger. (Shut­ter­stock)

Kaouther Ben Ha­nia. (Sup­plied)

The Khadra sis­ters. (AFP)

Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger. (AFP)

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