The Venice Film Festival

BATD ON Sep 09, 2009 AT 3:36 pm

Matt Damon & Wife Luciana Work the Red Carpet at The Venice Film Festival

Matt Damon & Wife Luciana Work the Red Carpet at The Venice Film Festival

Although much of the limelight goes to the Cannes Film Festival, The Venice Film Festival is one of the oldest and most prestigious. It takes place every year near the end of August or early September on the island of the Lido, in Venice, Italy. This year marks the 66th year for the Venice Film Festival.

Screenings are taking place in the Palazzo del Cinema and run from the 2nd to the 12th September, the final day when the winners are announced. The nominees were already announced in late July with some prominent directors such as Michael Moore, premiering his newest documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story.

The aim of the festival is to promote awareness for all forms of international cinema. The festival has made many changes recently from a strictly European line-up to more international entries.

The festival’s main awards are the Leone d’Oro  (Golden Lion), which goes to the best film screened at the festival and the coveted Coppa Volpi (Volpi Cup), awarded to the best actor and actress. In 2002, a new award, the San Marco Award was announced for the best film “against the stream.”

George Clooney & Elisabetta Canalis

George Clooney & Elisabetta Canalis

A long list of stars has already been spotted in the sinking city. George Clooney pulled up to the Venice Film Festival on a boat with his new beauty, Italian TV presenter Elisabetta Canalis and bandages on his hand from when he slammed it in a car door. He’s promoting his new film, Men Who Stare at Goats, due for release this November.

Paris Hilton attended the premiere with her on-again, off-again boy toy, Doug Reinhardt. Matt Damon was also there with wife Luciana, promoting his new movie The Informant, which involved him piling on 30 extra pounds of weight. I just saw a clip of this at the launch of British Film festival that opens here in October, you hardly recognise him, it looks really funny.

For a list of the line-up and all the nominations:

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