Hollywood actor Johnny Depp has described the Red Sea Film Festival as a “very important thing” in recognising the talent of young stars “coming up in the ranks”.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean star, wearing a black ensemble, led a host of famous faces including Will Smith arriving in Saudi Arabia for the third annual film festival celebrating “the best of local and international film-making talents”.

Ahead of the opening world premiere of director Yasir Al-Yasiri’s film titled HWJN, Depp said on the red carpet: “We got in this morning.

“It feels great to be here and to be able to support the festival which is a very important thing for kids coming up in the ranks.

“So I’m honoured to be here,” the 60-year-old added.

The Sweeney Todd star was later seen posing with Indian actor Ranveer Singh – who was honoured during the festival’s opening night by US actress Sharon Stone.

Depp’s appearance comes after he was involved in a defamation trial with his ex-wife Amber Heard, in which he was awarded 10.3 million US dollars (£8.43 million) for damage to his reputation after a jury returned a verdict in his favour.

It also coincided the death of his friend, The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan, having attended his Copenhagen wedding in 2018.

Meanwhile, the film festival saw Men In Black star Smith pictured smiling at the event, wearing a navy three-piece suit, as well as British actor Ed Westwick alongside his film star girlfriend Amy Jackson.

Elvis filmmaker Baz Luhrmann said: “I’m extremely honoured and excited to be here at the Red Sea Film Festival at a time in which the voices of storytellers really need to be heard.

“So I’m very, very happy to be supporting it, it’s a beautiful night and we are very, very excited to see some extraordinary films.”

The festival will run until December 9 with most events held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Saudi Arabia.