The 68th annual Venice Film Festival has commenced in Venice, Italy from Aug. 31, 2011 with the American film, The Ides of March, directed by George Clooney.

For the current edition, a total of 66 films will make their world premiere including Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights, Roman Olanski's Carnage and Philippe Garrel's A Burning Hot Summer.

Some other films out of competition include Al Pacino's Wilde Salome, Madonna's W.E and Steven Soderbergh's Contagion. The jury will be headed by American director, Darren Aronofsky who is a two-time Golden Lion winner. Also, earlier this year, the director was Oscar-nominated for Black Swan.

A statement by the organizers described Aronofsky as a key figure of contemporary cinema.

Stealing the show during the opening ceremony of the event were stars and celebs like Cindy Crawford, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei and Diane Kruger.

Check out the red carpet beauties, celebrity arrivals and other opening night images during the 68th Venice Film Festival in the slideshow given: