Fri, Aug 01, 2008 - Page 17 News List

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Jennifer Lopez will be able to call on her newly acquired parenting skills for her latest film role, where she plays a professional thief posing as a nanny, it was reported on Tuesday.

Daily Variety reported that "7" has confirmed bagging a lead role in romantic comedy The Governess, her second movie project since giving birth to twins earlier this year.

The 39-year-old music and acting diva will play a robber planning a bank heist who pretends to be a nanny for children of a wealthy widower, the report said. Filming gets underway later this year.

Lopez, whose last film was 2006's El Cantante, is already working on another project, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, due for release in 2009.

This year's Venice film festival showcasing new offerings by the Coen Brothers, Takeshi Kitano and Hayao Miyasaki, will be dedicated to the late Egyptian director Youssef Chahine, organizers said on Tuesday.

The central figure in post-war Arab cinema, Chahine died Sunday aged 82 after spending several weeks in a coma.

"The 65th Mostra will be dedicated to Youssef Chahine, a unique filmmaker: who else could have succeeded in mixing the philosopher Averroes with Fred Astaire? That's what cinema should be about," festival director Marco Muller told a press conference in Rome.

The film to which he was referring, Destiny, which won the Cannes film festival's 50th anniversary award in 1997, is set in 12th-century Andalusia, with the Arab philosopher Averroes, a harbinger of the Enlightenment, as its dancing hero.

Egyptian screen stars were among around 1,500 mourners who gathered at a Cairo church on Monday to bid farewell to Chahine.

Hundreds of celebrities and officials were crammed into the Roman Catholic Church of the Resurrection, with hundreds more gathered outside as the controversial director's coffin was carried in, draped in the Egyptian flag.

His protege and colleague Khaled Youssef, who co-directed Chahine's latest film Chaos in 2007, was among the pall bearers.

The congregation included many of the biggest stars of Egyptian cinema - for decades the Arab world's most popular - alongside officials from the ruling National Democratic Party which was often targeted in Chahine's films.

Representatives from other parties across the political spectrum were also in attendance, along with dozens of journalists.

Japanese directors Kitano, with Achilles and the Tortoise, and Miyasaki, with his animated feature Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, are among the favorites for the festival's coveted Golden Lion award.

Other strong runners include US director Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke, and French filmmaker Barbet Schroeder's thriller The Beast in the Shadows.

The festival opens on Aug. 27 with an out-of-competition world premiere for Joel and Ethan Coen's Burn After Reading, which unites perennial Coen favorite George Clooney with John Malkovich, Brad Pitt and Oscar-winning Scottish actress Tilda Swinton.

Australia has hired filmmaker Baz Luhrmann to make ads touting the nation as a tourist destination after Prime Minister Kevin Rudd labeled the previous campaign a "disaster.''

Luhrmann, director of the upcoming film Australia starring Nicole Kidman, will use footage from the movie in television ads running in Europe, Asia and North America starting in October until the middle of next year.

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