‘Venice’ rendered unto Venice

Bacall, Hopper, Channing star in last minute Fest entry

ROME — Los Angeles-based Austrian director Robert Dornhelm’s “The Venice Project,” starring Lauren Bacall, Dennis Hopper, Stockard Channing and Linus Roache will have its world premiere, appropriately, as an 11th-hour addition to the lineup of the 56th Venice Intl. Film Festival.

Set between the late 17th century and modern times in a stately palazzo on the Italian burg’s Grand Canal, the drama unfolds largely around the city’s art biennale and centers on a bored count and his descendants, whose family home and position come under threat.

An Austrian-U.S. co-production, the English-language feature was produced by Norbert Blecha for Terra Film in Vienna and Kara Meyers for L.A.-based production outfit June 99. The film will screen outside Venice’s official sections in a special late-entry slot.

The extensive cast also includes Anna Galiena, Ben Cross, Dean Stockwell, Parker Posey, Cheech Marin, Brazilian director Hector Babenco and architect Frank Gehry, playing himself. Dornhelm’s previous features include “Echo Park,” “Cold Feet,” “Requiem for Dominic” and “The Unfish.”

The Venice fest runs Sept. 1-11.

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