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Last Updated: Sunday, 20 July, 2003, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Woody Allen opens Venice festival
Woody Allen
Allen is a veteran of the Venice festival
Woody Allen's new film Anything Else is to open the 60th annual Venice Film Festival next month.

Allen said it was "a great honour".

Anything Else stars Jason Biggs, Christina Ricci and Jeremy Fallon.

Allen has shown films at the festival, one of the highlights of the European film calendar, every year from 1993 to 2001.

Allen, 67, has never before attended the festival.

"It will be an immense pleasure for us to have him here," said festival director Moritz de Hadeln.

The festival opens on 27 August and finishes on 6 September.

The festival will this year also pay tribute to Katherine Hepburn, who died in June. They will show a special screening of her 1955 film Summertime, which was shot in Venice.

Allen was recently in the news for appearing in a French tourism video in an attempt to persuade Americans to visit the country.

France suffered a backlash from the US - including consumer boycotts - because of its opposition to war in Iraq.

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