Venice Film Fest 2008: Kseniya Rappoport Host Opening and Closing Night Ceremonies

August 13, 2008–Russian star Kseniya Rappoport will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 65th Venice Film Festival, which kicks off August 27 with Joel and Ethan Coen's spy comedy “Burn After Reading.”

Rappoport, 34, has a wide fan base thanks to her role as a prostitute-turned-cleaning lady in Giuseppe Tornatore's drama “The Unknown,” which swept the country's 2007 David di Donatello nods and earned her best actress laurels.

She also drew kudos at the Sochi Open Russian Film Festival in June for her role as an opera diva in helmer Kirill Serebrennikov's “Yuri's Day,” unspooling at the Locarno Film Festival.
She is now filming Giovanni Veronesi's comedy “Italians.”

“Burn After Reading,” which stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich, Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton, will bow out of competition on the Lido, with key talent attending, ahead of its U.S. release September 12 via Universal Pictures.

Organizers have also announced that the fest's shorts competition will kick off Sept. 1 with Natalie Portman's directorial debut “Eve.”

The festival's closing ceremony will be September 6, followed by a screening of a restored copy of helmer-scribe Tito Schipa Jr.'s 1973 Italo rock opera “Orfeo 9,” in which he also appeared.