Venice International Film Festival: stars flock to the Italian city

Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and Chloe Zhao are among the Hollywood names spotted at the Italian festival

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The Venice International Film Festival has kicked off, and has already attracted a star line-up to the picturesque canal city.

Kirsten Dunst sailed into the festival to promote The Power of the Dog, the Netflix film she stars in opposite Benedict Cumberbatch and husband Jesse Plemons. The actors portray brothers living in 1920s Montana whose lives are torn apart when one marries a young widow, played by the American actress.

Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard arrived together, while a masked Adriana Lima touched down on day one – one of the few visual reminders of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao arrived by boat on Tuesday. The Nomadland director is sitting on the festival jury, alongside Parasite director Bong Joon-ho, who is presiding over the event's jury.

Also serving on the jury are French actress Virginie Efira and Canadian actress Sarah Gadon, who were both seen arriving on Tuesday, along with British actress Cynthia Erivo. Italian director Saverio Costanzo and German director Alexander Nanau round off the jury.

Italy’s Paolo Sorrentino was also photographed arriving at the festival on Tuesday. The director's E stata la mano di Dio (The Hand of God) is set to compete for the Golden Lion.

The film is set in the mid-1980s when footballer Diego Maradona joined Napoli and single-handedly turned them into Serie A champions. It is said to be a reflection on Sorrentino’s own youth and his most personal film to date.

See the full list of 21 films competing for the Golden Lion prize here.

The 78th Venice Film Festival runs until Saturday, September 11

Updated: September 01, 2021, 10:55 AM