Saudi Arabia’s Film AlUla to add music studio to production lot

LONDON: Designers from the Middle East dressed A-list stars on the red carpet at the 77th British Academy Film Awards on Sunday, with looks by Ashi Studio, Elie Saab and Tony Ward spotted at the event.

Molly Sims showed off a black-and-white gown by Tony Ward. (Getty Images)

US model and actress Molly Sims showed off a striking black gown by Lebanese Italian designer Tony Ward, complete with an exaggerated off-white ruffle on the neckline.

Sabrina Elba chose an all-black gown by Ashi Studio. (Getty Images)

For her part, Sabrina Elba wore a sculptured gown from Saudi designer Mohammed Ashi’s Paris-based label Ashi Studio. The dress hailed from Ashi’s second outing at Paris Haute Couture Week and was plucked from his Spring/Summer 2024 couture collection, which hit the runway in January.

Emily Blunt opted for a glittering Elie Saab look. (Getty Images)

British actress Emily Blunt glittered in a nude-colored look from Lebanese designer Elie Saab’s Spring/Summer 2024 couture collection, while “The Color Purple” actress Fantasia Barrino Taylor turned heads in an all-red ensemble by couturier Mohamed Benchellal, who was born in the Netherlands to Moroccan parents.

Meanwhile, the awards ceremony saw “Oppenheimer” win seven prizes, including best picture, director and actor, cementing its front-runner status for the Oscars next month.
Gothic fantasia “Poor Things” took five prizes and Holocaust drama “The Zone of Interest” won three.
British-born filmmaker Christopher Nolan won his first best director BAFTA for “Oppenheimer,” and Irish performer Cillian Murphy won the best actor prize for playing physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb.
Murphy said he was grateful to play such a “colossally knotty, complex character.”
Nolan noted that nuclear weapons are “a nihilistic subject and the film inevitably reflects that,” telling the movie’s backers: “Thank you for taking on something dark.”
Emma Stone was named best actress for playing the wild and spirited Bella Baxter in “Poor Things,” a steampunk-style visual extravaganza that won prizes for visual effects, production design, makeup and hair and costume design.

“The Zone of Interest,” a British-produced film shot in Poland with a largely German cast, was named both best British film and best film not in English — a first — and also took the prize for its sound.
The awards ceremony, hosted by “Doctor Who” star David Tennant — who entered wearing a kilt and sequined top while carrying a dog named Bark Ruffalo — was a glitzy, British-accented appetizer for Hollywood’s Academy Awards, closely watched for hints about who might win at the Oscars on March 10.

The prize for original screenplay went to French courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall.” The film about a woman on trial over the death of her husband was written by director Justine Triet and her partner, Arthur Harari.

“It’s a fiction, and we are reasonably fine,” Triet joked.

(Additional reporting by AP)

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