Hollywood stars

10 ‘Dune’ Cast Members Among Hollywood Stars at Venice Film Festival

The 78th Venice Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday with a slew of Hollywood stars expected to hit the red carpet for the September 1-11 event, starting with Penelope Cruz for Pedro Almodovar’s opening film ‘Parallel Mothers’, in competition, and Isabelle Huppert for the French drama “Promises,” which opens the most avant-garde Horizons section of the festival.

They will soon be followed by the creative teams and key cast »of all films,” said artistic director Alberto Barbera, speaking to Variety. He pointed out that Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya and “the entire 10-member cast” of Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” reboot are heading to the Lido.

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“This year there is a lot of talent coming, especially from the United States, it’s really impressive,” added Barbera, stressing that “the Americans are in force”.

The only major American actor who won’t be coming is Adam Driver, who stars in Ridley Scott’s medieval epic “The Last Duel,” which is screening late into the busiest festival. That’s because Driver is currently on set for Noah Baumbach’s new movie “White Noise,” according to Barbera. Matt Damon, however, is expected to come to Venice for ‘The Last Duel’, in which he stars alongside Ben Affleck.

It’s still unclear if Affleck will be in attendance for the premiere, though the actor’s partner Jennifer Lopez is in town for a Dolce & Gabbana party, suggesting the couple, historically known as “Bennifer” , could debut at the Lido.

In addition to ‘Parallel Mothers’, Venice’s jam-packed first four days include Jane Campion’s ‘The Power of the Dog’, which features Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst, who both make the trip, and ‘The Card Counter,” that Oscar Isaac and Willem Dafoe are coming to make a fuss. On September 3, a megawatt mini-marathon will include Pablo Larrain’s Princess Diana drama “Spencer,” which will see Kristen Stewart on the red carpet, followed by the “Dune” team, then Maggie Gyllenhaal’s debut film “The Lost Daughter.” ,” in competition, for which Olivia Colman and Dakota Johnson are launching.

Anya-Taylor Joy will land for Edgar Wright’s psychological thriller ‘Last Night in Soho’ and Jessica Chastain will take to the Lido runway for HBO’s ‘Scenes From a Marriage’ limited series.

The wall of 2020 remains in place along the red carpet.  - Credit: AP

The wall of 2020 remains in place along the red carpet. – Credit: AP

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Barbera’s only regret is that due to COVID-19 precautions, the red carpet, just like last year, “will be off-limits to fans,” he said.

Once again, Venice was forced to place a external barrier in the form of a wall (photo) entirely protecting the long walkway, in order to to avoid tight-knit crowds. Socially distanced photographers will be positioned inside the wall. Due to the Delta variant, “we were denied permission to open [the catwalk] up,” Barbera said. The Lido Red Carpet Ritual will be broadcast live and streamed to multiple outlets.

Last year, Venice was the only high-profile festival in the world to hold a physical edition, albeit with half the usual crowd.

This year, the festival’s role as a symbol of Italy’s post-pandemic reboot takes on even greater significance, with more than 9,000 accredited attendees – two-thirds of the event’s pre-pandemic capacity – including much of the international press. The opening ceremony will take place in the presence of Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Festival attendees traveling to Venice from most foreign countries will be able to enter Italy thanks to its recent validation of non-European proof of COVID-19 vaccinations. For example, Americans can now use their CDC card as proof of vaccination in Italy, where the so-called EU Green Pass, held by vaccinated citizens, is also required to enter indoor spaces such as restaurants, bars and cinemas.

The European Union on Monday recommended that its member countries impose new travel restrictions on unvaccinated visitors from the United States. But this restriction is not mandatory and Italy has not yet indicated that it will change its rules. Most important, Barbera said 90% of festival attendees are vaccinated, based on an email survey the festival sent out recently.

Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test kept up to 48 hours prior to entry is required for festival accreditation. For festival-goers who need testing, Venice has set up 12 rapid COVID test swab points on the Lido where there are mandatory temperature checks to enter the outdoor festival grounds.

Accreditation will be enough to access the screening rooms of the festival which, like last year, are at 50% capacity due to mandatory social distancing and where masks are needed again during movies. Delegates must reserve digital tickets for screenings and also for press conferences three days in advance – a seamless experience that is similar to booking tickets for a rock concert the second they go on sale.

Meanwhile, the 28,000 tickets for film screenings in Venice available to the general public are already nearly sold out.

“We have multiplied the screenings, using all the places available on the Lido and elsewhere,” said Barbera, who even installed an outdoor arena in an ice rink on the Lido this year. He added that he hoped all accredited guests will be able to see the films they wish to see.

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