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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 August, 2003, 06:56 GMT 07:56 UK
Allen launches Venice festival
Christina Ricci, Woody Allen and Jason Biggs
Woody Allen was joined by stars Christina Ricci and Jason Biggs
A gala première of Woody Allen's latest film, Anything Else, has launched the Venice film festival.

The 67-year-old director attended the screening, a rare public appearance outside his native New York for Allen, who also stars in the movie.

His co-stars Christina Ricci and Jason Biggs also arrived at the screening.

Anything Else is a light-hearted comedy about the relationship between an older man and his younger protégé.

Venice is the world's oldest film festival, and is celebrating its 60th year with 20 films competing for its coveted Golden Lion award.

Allen is making his first appearance at Venice, although he has many connections with the city - part of his musical Everybody Says I Love You was shot there, and he was given a lifetime achievement award there in 1995.

'Honour'

"I've never been to Venice at festival time," he said after his presence was announced last month.

"The city has been so generous and supportive to me and I love it so much that it will be a great honour."

Salma Hayek
Hollywood star Salma Hayek also made an appearance
Allen's appearance comes as it is reported Trainspotting star Jonny Lee Miller has joined the cast of Allen's latest project, which is being kept under wraps.

Shooting begins in New York this autumn, the Hollywood Reporter has said, with Chloe Sevigny, Radha Mitchell and Chiwetel Ejiofor also starring.

Of the films up for the Golden Lion, most are European, with British director Michael Winterbottom's Code 46 among the contenders.

Hollywood

Tim Robbins, Samantha Morton and Om Puri star in the futuristic love story, which sees a relationship dogged by genetic incompatibilities.

Emma Thompson and Antonio Banderas star in Christopher Hampton's Imagining Argentina, while John Malkovich and Catherine Deneuve star in Manoel de Oliveira's A Talking Picture.

Venice Film Festival
This year's festival is Venice's 60th

Away from the competition, a host of Hollywood's biggest names are expected in Venice during the next 11 days, including George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones, promoting the Coen brothers' latest film Intolerable Cruelty.

Sir Anthony Hopkins will be in town for The Human Stain, based on Philip Roth's novel, and Nicolas Cage will promote Sir Ridley Scott's Matchstick Men.

The Montreal Film Festival also begins on Wednesday, and its highlights include a short season of Martin Scorsese films, honouring the legendary director's work.




SEE ALSO:
Venice gets saucy at 60
26 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Italian film makes waves
27 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Venice prepares for film invasion
26 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Venice film prize favours Europe
31 Jul 03  |  Entertainment


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