Clooney and Bullock to open Venice Film Festival

Hollywood heavyweights Sandra Bullock and George Clooney will open the Venice Film Festival next month with their new movie, Gravity, where they play two astronauts on an ill-fated mission.

Clooney and Bullock to open Venice Film Festival
George Clooney and Sandra Bullock will open the Venice Film Festival. Photos: Wikipedia

The thriller by cult Mexican film director Alfonso Cuaron will be shown in 3D on the first day of the festival on August 28th, organizers of the yearly film industry gathering said in a statement.

The festival on the Venice Lido runs until September 7th.

Cuaron is no stranger to Venice, where he won two awards in 2001 with his film "Y tu mama tambien" – best scenario and best young male talent for its two heroes Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.

Last month Italian daily Leggo reported that actor Robert de Niro was rumoured to be coveting the house of George Clooney in Lake Como.

In 2012 Clooney was reported to be selling the villa because it no longer gave him the privacy he desired. The people of Laglio have welcomed him with open arms and will no doubt be sad to see him go. He was even made an honorary citizen of the town years after buying a home there. 

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How you can join the Clooneys for lunch on Lake Como

Lunch with George and Amal Clooney at their Italian villa? Here's how you can win an invite to die for.

How you can join the Clooneys for lunch on Lake Como
What would you talk about over lunch with Amal and George Clooney? Photo: Pierre Teyssot/AFP

The famous couple are running a charity raffle in which first prize is a double date at their house on Lake Como.

The lucky winners – you and a companion of your choice – will be flown to Italy, put up in a four-star hotel and share a lunch of Italian Prosecco, cold cuts and cheeses with the human rights lawyer and her actor husband.

You don't have to pay to enter, but any donation you choose to make will go to the Clooney Foundation for Justice, which supports projects around the world to bring human rights abusers to justice.

There's just one catch: winners can't be resident in Italy (or Belgium, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Singapore, Sudan, Syria or Thailand). But there's nothing to stop a winner from elsewhere taking an Italian resident as their guest… hint, hint.


Clooney hasn't always been so keen to welcome fans into his home in the village of Laglio, which he bought in 2001. Plagued by snoopers and paparazzi, he sought help from the town mayor to impose stiff fines for any strangers caught hanging around his luxurious estate and is said to have installed a contraption in his garden that launches raw eggs at boats that get too close.

Despite persistent rumours that he would sell the property in quest of greater privacy, Clooney has held onto his part of Laglio, where house prices have boomed and the local council declared him an honorary citizen. He and Amal chose to marry in Venice and the actor often opts to film in Italy, most recently selecting Sardinia for his TV version of Catch-22. 

The raffle runs until July 14th, with a winner expected to be announced on July 31st. For more details and to enter, click here