29 AUGUST 2007

Some of Britain's hottest acting talents have been arriving in Venice for the city's annual film festival, with Keira Knightley and James McAvoy leading the way. The in-demand duo's latest film Atonement, directed by the man behind Pride And Prejudice Joe Wright, is opening the famously glamorous cinematic event, and is already generating Oscar buzz.

The pair star as class-divided lovers in the adaptation of Ian McEwan's best-selling novel, and Keira's performance in particular has received plaudits.

Also seen navigating Venice's famous waterways were three generations of the Redgrave family. Vanessa, also an Atonement cast member, was joined by daughter Joely Richardson and granddaughter Daisy.

Shakespearean actor and director Kenneth Branagh is due to make an appearance, too, as his film Sleuth, a remake of the 1972 thriller, starring Michael Caine and Jude Law, will enjoy its world premiere at the gala.

Meanwhile, international names competing for the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or, include Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee, who is due to unveil his latest film Lust, Caution. Brad Pitt is also expected in the Italian hotspot to support his Western The Assassination Of Jesse James which makes its debut in the main competition, while Woody Allen's latest effort, Cassandra, starring Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor, is another flick on the screening list.

Helena Bonham Carter's partner Tim Burton, meanwhile, will be honoured with the Golden Lion lifetime achievement award. Winners of the best film, director, actor and actress will be revealed on September 8.

>Click here to see the trailer for Atonement

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Hair blowing in the breeze, Keira looked every inch the jet-set film star as she took to the Venetian waterways. She has every reason to smile, thanks to the buzz surrounding her performance in the festival's opening movie, AtonementPhoto: © Getty ImagesClick on photos for gallery
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Her Scottish co-star James and 35-year-old director Joe have also been seen making waves in the Italian city Photo: © Getty Images
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Redgrave-clan matriarch Vanessa was joined in a water taxi by her Nip/Tuck actress daughter and trendy granddaughterPhoto: © Getty Images