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The guests

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- Sophia Loren, star of her son Edoardo's directorial debut, Between Strangers (out of competition) will open the Festival this evening

The guests

This evening's inaugural ceremony for the 59th Venice Film Festival will be a sombre affair. The simple walkway chosen by the new artistic director, Moritz De Hadeln, will be graced by just a select handful of stars. The massed ranks of photographers will delight in snapping Sophia Loren, accompanied by her son Edoardo, Salma Hayek, the star of the opening film Frida, top fashion designers Armani and Valentino, and, even though she doesn't have a film at Venice this year, American actress Gwyneth Paltrow.
A strong American contingent of stars are also scheduled to stop off at the Lido, starting with Steven Soderbergh, the director of Full Frontal and Britain's Sam Mendes with Road to Perdition starring Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford will accompany his director, Kathryn Bigelow to the premiere of K-19: the Widowmaker, Julianne Moore will present Far from Heaven and Sean Penn, who directed an episode of an ensemble film about 9/11. Venice will also pay tribute to two “fathers” of world cinema, Dino Risi, this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Golden Lion and Greek director, Theo Anghelopoulos, winner of the Bresson Award.

The European film industry will also make a strong showing starting with the "odd" couple of French cinema, Jean Rochefort and rocker, Johnny Halliday, the stars of Patrice Leconte’s L’homme du train; Stefano Accorsi and Laura Morante are Michele Placido’s star-crossed lovers in Un Viaggio Chiamato Amore while John Malkovich and Chiara Caselli are the protagonists of Liliana Cavani’s Ripley’s Game.
Fiorello, the brilliant entertainer will share centre stage on the last evening with Nobel prize-winning playwright and actor Dario Fo. They are the Italian voice talents in Giulio Cingoli’s animated feature Johan Padan – A la descoverta de la Americhe, based on a play by Fo.

(Translated from Italian)

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