The picket lines were open as a notably improved guest list attended the 80th Venice Film Festival amFAR Gala on Sunday evening.
While the premiere of David Fincher’s The Killer was afforded a lukewarm reception due to Hollywood’s solidarity ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes, the annual AIDS fundraiser taking place at the same time had its fair share of high profile attendees.
Ensuring the night was given a generous helping of glamour, actresses Kate Beckinsale, Milla Jovovich and Bella Thorne were in attendance having travelled to northern Italy exclusively for the charitable event.
Opting for a sweeping sheer dress with glittering gold embellishments, Beckinsale, 50, left little to the imagination as she greeted onlookers.
The British star completed a rather dramatic look with towering platform heels, while statement earrings and a generously applied layer of make-up rounded things off.
Here they come: The picket lines were open as Kate Beckinsale (L) and Milla Jovovich (R) attended the 80th Venice Film Festival amFAR Gala on Sunday evening
Make way: Bella Thorne was also present as the annual AIDS fundraiser got underway
Jovovich stood out in an eye-catching lilac ione-shoulder satin gown with a silver pattern detail.
Thorne looked typically stylish in a black strapless midi dress, while boosting her height in strappy heels.
Leona Lewis commanded attention in a gorgeous red gown that hugged every inch of her sensational figure.
Leona’s dress boasted a plunging neckline as well as sculpted panels on the bodice and waist to perfectly accentuate her eye-popping curves.
The X Factor winner, 38, completed the look with dainty silver jewellery and opted for a gorgeous make-up palette complete with classic pillar box red lip.
The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world, with its 80th edition opening earlier this week.
The festival opened with the premiere of Italian World War Two film Comandante, directed by Edoardo De Angelis. The event will run until September 9 and closes with a Spanish-language Netflix drama Society of the Snow.
The Festival takes place on the Venice Lido – the so-called beach of Venice – a thin barrier island in the Venetian Lagoon, which is a short boat trip from the main city of Venice. Unlike Venice itself, cars have access to the Lido.
The festival marks the start of the awards season and regularly throws up big favourites for the Oscars. Eight of the past 11 best director awards at the Oscars went to films that debuted at Venice.
There are several categories making up the official selection of films shown, the top being those competing for the coveted Golden Lion award.
New films by directors including Bradley Cooper, Yorgos Lanthimos, David Fincher, Michael Mann, Sofia Coppola, Ava DuVernay and Ryusuke Hamaguchi will compete for the prestigious award.
Movie stars and directors traditionally enjoy travelling to the lagoon city to launch their films. However, this year will offer a bit less sparkle than usual because a Hollywood actors’ strike will prevent many stars from promoting their work here.
The festival’s artistic director Alberto Barbera is putting a brave face on the expected disruption and has managed to attract one of the strongest line-ups in recent years, defying dire predictions of a mass no-show by big studio productions.
Incredible: Opting for a sweeping sheer dress with glittering gold embellishments, Beckinsale, 50, left little to the imagination as she greeted onlookers
Stylish: The British star completed a rather dramatic look with towering platform heels, while statement earrings and a generously applied layer of make-up rounded things off
Bold: Jovovich stood out in an eye-catching lilac ione-shoulder satin gown with a silver pattern detail
Sweet: Paul W. S. Anderson and Milla posed for snaps at the star-studded event
Strike a pose: Milla Jovovich and Kate Beckinsale posed for a stunning snap together
Turning heads: Thorne looked typically stylish in a black strapless midi dress, while boosting her height in strappy heels
Hot stuff: The dress was perfectly tailored and fitted the stunner like a glove
Kiss: Bella and fiancé Mark Emms couldn’t keep their hands off each other and packed on the PDA as they took to the star-studded red carpet
Smart: Meanwhile entrepreneur Mark cut a suave figure in a black tuxedo which he wore with a crisp white and dark tie
‘We know that some talent will not be able to attend … But some others will come because they are working in the independent films. So everything is good. It looks very positive.’
Away from Venice’s picture-perfect canals, a sense of crisis pervades the movie-making business, with strikes by both the main U.S. actors and writers’ unions bringing much of the entertainment industry to a standstill.
‘If the strikes last longer, it will have a huge, negative impact on the next (release) season and the awards season as well,’ Barbera said.
Nobody in Hollywood wants to be seen doing the wrong thing by the strikers and the whole film and TV industry has ground to a complete stop.
The writers union, the WGA, went on strike on May 2nd, and were followed by SAG-AFTRA, the actors union, on July 14th.
Ferrari actors (and writers) can attend with out breaking the strikes as the film has been given an exemption because it was made by an independent, Neon, not a studio.
The stars of the film Priscilla, about Priscilla Presley’s life, can also attend without breaking the strike as it was made in Canada.
Earlier this week it was confirmed that Priscilla has a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement which would allow cast including Jacob Elordi – who plays Elvis – to come. It’s not clear whether he will though.
Priscilla Presley, on whose 1985 memoir it is based, is expected to attend. She is an actress, herself, having appeared in Dallas and the Naked Gun films.
Gorgeous: Leona Lewis, 38, looked incredible as she attended the star-studded amfAR gala during the Venice Film Festival on Sunday
Stunner: The X Factor winner commanded attention in a gorgeous red gown that hugged every inch of her sensational figure
Red hot: She completed the look with dainty silver jewellery and opted for a gorgeous make-up palette complete with classic pillar box red lip
Matching: Hana Cross and Elle Trowbridge looked incredible in black plunging sequin gowns
Most other stars have no option but to stay away. Bradley Cooper, who wrote, produced stars in and directed Maestro, about the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, will not be in Venice to see possibly the defining film of his career premiere. It is by Netflix, who are a struck company.
A festival spokesman confirmed last month that he would not attend in solidarity with the strike by the actors union SAG-AFTRA.
The film Challengers, a tennis and three-somes drama starring Zendaya and Josh O’Connor, of The Crown, was going to open the festival but that dropped after the actor’s came on strike in July.
The prestige film Poor Things, an adaptation of a Frankenstein-esque gothic tale starring Emma Stone, will premiere at the festival but star Emma Stone and the rest of the cast will not be there.
Ferrari is a film by renowned director Michael Man and examines three months in the life of Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the car company. He has money trouble, is grieving his son who died, and has a child with his mistress – which is discovered by his wife.
The SAG-AFTRA strike is the latest of ongoing employee disputes in Hollywood.
The action has brought the industry to a virtual standstill, forcing many film and TV productions to shut down, and marks the first time in more than 60 years that both actors and writers have gone on strike.
The WGA strike, which saw writers crossing the picket line, has been going on since early May.
Focus: Stars were unable to attend the 80th anniversary event due to ongoing strikes in the industry (pictured Alexi Hawley, Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulrony and Dermot Mulroney on the picket line on August 25)
Under the rules of a strike, all Sag-aftra members will not be able to film any movie or TV series – which means that almost every show and film that’s currently in the works will be delayed indefinitely until the problem is resolved.
British union Equity, the sister organisation to Sag-aftra, said in a statement in July that they are are ‘full square [sic] behind’ their US counterpart.
British actors including Brian Cox, Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis have also been among those supporting the US strike.
On July 21, dozens of actors and performers descended on London’s Leicester Square in solidarity with their colleagues in the US, who have walked out in protest at the pay and conditions in the industry.
The strike was authorized after SAG-AFTRA failed to reach a deal with some of the biggest studios in Hollywood, per CNN.
Actors on strike are calling for higher wages as well as protections against artificial intelligence.