Date: 3rd September 2010

Natalie Portman thriller opens Venice Film Festival

Natalie Portman graced the red carpet for the premiere of her latest film Black Swan (2010), which had the honour of opening the Venice Film Festival.

The US actress was joined by the film's director Darren Aronofsky, who won the Italian film festival's top prize in 2008 for The Wrestler.

This year's jury, which awards the Golden Lion trophy, is headed by Quentin Tarantino.

Some 79 movies are expected to premiere over the festival's 11-day run.

The Golden Lion will be fought over by 22 films from directors around the world, although no British films will be vying for the prize.

Speaking on the opening day, Inglourious Basterds director Tarantino said: "I love being on juries. I've yet to find it difficult, but I've always ended up being with, not like-minded, but passion-minded artists every time I've done it."

"I love the idea, what I love about being on the jury is, I love seeing a whole bunch of new movies from all over the world. I have no real idea about what to expect."

"I might have an idea about an actor in it, or the director in it or something, but I really don't know what to expect and it's all over the world there and so usually when you watch the movie, you don't know what you're going to see until it starts playing and it either grabs you or it doesn't."

Other films in the main competition include Sophia Coppola's Somewhere, Julian Schnabel's Miral, starring Freida Pinto and Willem Dafoe, and France's Francois Ozon's Potiche, which features Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve.

Psychological thriller Black Swan (2010) centres on the competitive world of ballet, with Portman's character fighting to take the crown of prima ballerina of a New York company.

Aronofsky has called the film a companion piece to The Wrestler, which saw its star Mickey Rourke nominated for a best actor Oscar.

Source: Press Release



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