Quentin Tarantino was not only a guest at Variety’s Aug. 31 Venice party, he was also the theme.

For the pre-fest fete at the famed Danieli hotel, Starwood Hotels’ Antonello de’Medici and his staff created 18 food plus drink items designed to invoke the films of this year’s jury prexy (“Kill Bill,” “Pulp Fiction,” etc.) as well as “Sin City”-style fare for Robert Rodriguez. Fest artistic director Marco Mueller welcomed the guests, including other jury members, filmmakers, execs and actors. Variety group editor Timothy Gray presented Variety’s Profile in Excellence award to Italo mega-producer Aurelio De Laurentiis, who spoke about world cinema and a goal to restore Italy to its global glory. The 200-plus guests soaked up the spectacular sunset over Venetian waters at the Terrazza Danieli as news crews and photogs worked in high gear.