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Venice Film Festival 2021: Penelope Cruz and Maggie Gyllenhaal lead stars at the closing ceremony


Penelope Cruz looked effortlessly chic, while Maggie Gyllenhaal wowed in white as they led the stars on the red carpet at the closing ceremony of the 78th Venice International Film Festival on Saturday. 

The Vanilla Sky actress, 47, stunned in a shimmering silver off-the shoulder gown as she posed for the cameras on the final day of the annual event.

As Donnie Darko star Maggie, 43, looked as glamorous as ever in a plunging white gown as she worked her best angles for the camera.

Stunning: Penelope Cruz looked effortlessly chic as she walked the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival closing ceremony

What a beauty: Maggie Gyllenhaal wowed in white as she posed on the red carpet on Saturday

Penelope Cruz looked effortlessly chic, while Maggie Gyllenhaal wowed in white as they led the stars on the red carpet at the closing ceremony of the 78th Venice International Film Festival on Saturday 

Penelope oozed grace and glamour as she glided across the carpet in her jaw-dropping gown which featured a metallic lace overlay, a dropped waist and a voluminous tulle underskirt.

The Vicky Cristina Barcelona star accessorised her showstopping gown with a pewter clutch back and towering silver and black heels.

Penelope left her caramel tresses to fall gracefully on her shoulders, while she enhanced her beauty with a sleek palette of make-up. 

Elsewhere, Maggie added a stylish twist to her outfit by wearing a black and green patterned bandeau under her low-cut dress which was visible from the sides. 

A vision: The Vanilla Sky actress, 47, stunned in a shimmering silver off-the shoulder gown as she posed for the cameras on the final day of the annual event

A vision: The Vanilla Sky actress, 47, stunned in a shimmering silver off-the shoulder gown as she posed for the cameras on the final day of the annual event

Radiant: Penelope left her caramel tresses to fall gracefully on her shoulders, while she enhanced her beauty with a sleek palette of make-up

Radiant: Penelope left her caramel tresses to fall gracefully on her shoulders, while she enhanced her beauty with a sleek palette of make-up

She completed her beautiful look with a pair of simple black heels and kept her accessories minimal other than a couple of silver bracelets.

The film producer wore her brunette tresses in a chic cropped do and opted for a pretty and natural makeup look complete with a slick of light pink lip.

The 2021 Venice Film Festival has taken place from 1-11 September, and is considered one of the world’s oldest awards ceremonies and one of the ‘Big Five’ events. 

The jury is headed by Parasite frontman Bong Joon Ho, who said he is ‘honoured to be woven into its beautiful cinematic tradition. 

Dazzling: Penelope, who donned glittering diamond earrings, was glowing as she she f;ashed a huge smile at the cameras

Dazzling: Penelope, who donned glittering diamond earrings, was glowing as she she f;ashed a huge smile at the cameras

What an entrance: The Spanish beauty was sure to turned heads as she elegantly stepped out of her car as she arrived

What an entrance: The Spanish beauty was sure to turned heads as she elegantly stepped out of her car as she arrived

‘As president of the jury — and more importantly as a perpetual cinephile — I’m ready to admire and applaud all the great films selected by the festival. I’m filled with genuine hope and excitement.’

The jury is also comprised of  director Saverio Costanzo, actress Virginie Efira, star Cynthia Erivo, actress Sarah Gadon, documentarian Alexander Nanau, and director Chloé Zhao. 

This year’s festival has also invited two Afgan filmmakers, Sahraa Karimi and Sahra Mani, to discuss the Taliban’s takeover of the country, with ‘particular attention to the situation of filmmakers and artists,’ in a panel taking place on 4th September. 

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The topic of the panel will be ‘the dramatic situation of Afghan filmmakers and artists in general, the need for the creation of humanitarian corridors and the guarantee of the granting of political refugee status, as well as concern for their future and the need to provide for their accommodation once they arrive in Europe.’  

Oscar-winning Italian director Roberto Benigni, who helmed the acclaimed Life is Beautiful, will also be honoured with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.

Beauty: Donnie Darko star Maggie, 43, looked as glamorous as ever in a plunging white gown as she worked her best angles for the camera

Beauty: Donnie Darko star Maggie, 43, looked as glamorous as ever in a plunging white gown as she worked her best angles for the camera

Pretty: Maggie added a stylish twist to her outfit by wearing a black and green patterned bandeau under her low-cut dress which was visible from the sides

Stunning: She put on a confident display in the dress

Pretty: Maggie added a stylish twist to her outfit by wearing a black and green patterned bandeau under her low-cut dress which was visible from the sides

Details: She completed her beautiful look with a pair of simple black heels and kept her accessories minimal other than a couple of silver bracelets

Details: She completed her beautiful look with a pair of simple black heels and kept her accessories minimal other than a couple of silver bracelets

In a statement he said: ‘My heart is full of joy and gratitude. It is an immense honour to receive such an important recognition of my work from the Venice International Film Festival.’ 

This year’s festival has also seen the grand return of its star-studded red carpet premieres, after last year’s event was drastically scaled back due to the Covid pandemic.

Last year’s occasion saw a significantly smaller number of guests in attendance, will all red carpet arrivals required to adhere to social distancing, with temperature checks and mask wearing mandatory at the event.

Despite its return, this year’s festival is still adhering to strict Covid guidelines, following a rise in cases in Italy.

Public access to the red carpet is banned, and more than 10 testing stations have been set up.

All attendees must show proof of a negative test or vaccination to enter a screen, and masks are required indoors. 



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