'Black Dahlia' To Open Venice Festival

Scarlett Johansson, nominated for best supporting actress for her work in "Match Point," arrives for the Golden Globe Awards on Jan. 16, 2006, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Johansson tops a lovely list of the "100 Sexiest Women in the World," in a poll of readers by FHM magazine released Monday March 27, 2006. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian
The ShowBuzz's Jessica Derschowitz researched and wrote this story.

Director Brian DePalma will debut his much-anticipated thriller, "The Black Dahlia," as the opening film at this year's Venice International Film Festival.

The film, adapted from James Ellroy's famous novel of the same name, is about two policemen in 1940s Los Angeles who discover conspiracy and corruption within their department while investigating the murder of a young actress.

Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart play the policemen, who are both in love with a mysterious woman played by Scarlett Johansson. Oscar-winner Hillary Swank plays a woman indirectly involved in the crime.

"We are honored that Brian De Palma has chosen to open the 63rd Venice Film Festival with his new and long-awaited thriller," said Festival president Davide Croff and director Marco Müller in a statement on the festival's official Web site. The opening, which is the film's world premiere, is set for the evening of Aug. 30 in the Sala Grande of Venice's Palazzo del Cinema.

DePalma first made his way to the Venice festival in 1975 with one of his first films, "Sisters." He has since gone on to direct hits such as "Scarface," "Carrie" and "Mission Impossible."

Among the Golden Lion awards that will be given out at the festival will be the Lifetime Achievement award, which will go to "Mulholland Drive" director David Lynch. Lynch will receive the award upon the screening of his new film, "Inland Empire."

The festival will run in Venice from Aug. 30-Sept. 9. Among the jury members, who will assign the awards, are American director Cameron Crowe, Spanish director-screenwriter Juan José Bigas Luma, and French actress Catherine Deneuve.

By Jessica Derschowitz