ISLAMABAD: Hollywood superstars Will Smith and Johnny Depp stole the spotlight at the prestigious Red Sea International Film Festival with a surprise appearance on Tuesday to support the Pakistani film, “Umro Ayyar: A New Beginning.”
The two renowned icons of the American film industry enjoy an extensive fan following worldwide, including in Pakistan, which left the viewers excited about Pakistani film production with their presence.
The Red Sea Festival, set against the picturesque backdrop of Saudi Arabia’s seaside city, Jeddah, serves as a global platform for filmmakers to celebrate and showcase diverse cinematic creations from around the world.
Smith and Depp posed with Umro Ayyar’s executive producer, Huma Jamil Babar, and interacted with the public.
“How exciting it is,” exclaimed a Pakistani journalist, Afshan Younus, who shared a video of Smith getting a locket from Babar. “Hollywood meets Pakistani cinema in style!”
Another social media user, Nazish Alavi, called the cross-cultural support by the Hollywood actors a “big moment” for her.
“Watching Hollywood superstar Will Smith wearing #UmroAyyarANewBeginning pendant and The Johnny Depp supporting a Pakistani movie is such a big moment for me,” she said. “Best of luck to @TheUMROAYYAR.”
Umro Ayyar is one of the most famous characters from the legendary “Dastan-e-Amir Hamza,” a classical Urdu literary work comprising epic tales, widely read by many in Pakistan.
Speaking to Arab News in May, lead actor Sanam Saeed mentioned that Ayyar’s character was being adapted for the screen in a “new-age way” and receiving a “revamp” for modern times.
“Dastan-e-Amir Hamza” is the Urdu version of the Persian folklore written by Ghalib Lakhnavi in 1855, featuring a collection of stories about magic, adventure, and intrigue.
The film “Umro Ayyar” is an attempt to reimagine the story for a new generation of Pakistani and global audiences.