Black Gold Has Global Premiere in Middle East
Last night saw the global premiere of the hotly anticipated new Arabian epic Black Gold by Jean-Jacques Annaud, director of Seven Years in Tibet, Enemy at the Gates and The Name of the Rose.
Shot on location in Tunisia and Qatar, Black Gold is the partner film of the 2011 Doha Tribeca Film Festival and made its global premiere at the opening last night (Tuesday 25 October), bringing big names down the red carpet including Rob Lowe whose unexpected arrival thrilled audiences. Original heartthrob Omar Sharif also hit the red carpet, and, then there was the talent from the film itself.
And when we say talent... Never before have so many phenomenally good-looking men been brought together in to one movie! Yes, Black Gold’s female lead Frieda Pinto was on the red carpet looking every inch the model she once was, but the glittering male cast weren’t overshadowed for a second.
* CLICK THROUGH OUR GALLERY TO SEE LAST NIGHT’S HOTTEST RED CARPET PICS *
French women will need no introduction to the male lead of the movie, Tahar Rahim, the French Algerian who went to Cannes last year an unknown and came away a national treasure after audiences raved about his role in the French film, A Prophet.
Jan Uddin, who plays a stern Arabian officer in Black Gold to great effect, is a pin-up in his native UK where he first rose to prominence in the leading BBC soap EastEnders. He went on to star in the cult Brit flick Shank and Cosmopolitan magazine compared his “fall-in-love-with-instantly looks” to footballer Ronaldo’s.
London-born Akin Gazi, who joins the cast as Saleeh, is another hottie to watch. And Mark Strong, everyone’s favourite baddy (Blackwood in Sherlock Holmes, Sinestro in Green Lantern, Hani in Body of Lies, to name a few), has been known to send shivers down the spine for more than just his well practiced “cold, unflinching gaze”. He charmed the masses in his real persona of the quintessential British gent on last night’s red carpet, and then wowed audiences with his portrayal of an Arabic tribal leader, Amar.
Antonio Banderas, who plays opposite Mark Strong’s characters as his rival tribe leader, didn’t make it to the opening night. The Latin legend is expected to arrive in Doha on 27 October in time for the premiere of his other Doha Tribeca Film Festival film, Cat in Boots (renamed for its airing in Qatar apparently due to “cultural sensitivities”), airing on 28 October.
I caught up with director Jean-Jacques Annaud to ask whether this casting of so many handsome men in Black Gold was intentional.
“It’s only fair,” laughed Annaud, adding, “You know, I am often asked why I go for people like Brad Pitt and Sean Connery in my films, and you know what, it’s pleasant for me to have good looking men and good looking women in my films, and I guess I share that with my audiences.”
With a cast this hot, Black Gold is certainly set to be a winner with female audiences, and for everyone else there’s an awesome desert battle scene and some interesting questions posed about the riches oil brings to the region.
Ahlan! Live has interviews lined up with the cast of Black Gold, so keep tuned for all the latest on the film and all the goss from the third Doha Tribeca Film Festival.