George Clooney will kick off the 2011 Venice film festival Wednesday with the world premiere of his political drama The Ides of March. The Lido waterfront will witness 11 star-studded days.

The Ides of March is directed by Clooney. It is based on the play Farragut North written by Beau Willimon.

The roll call of celebrities expected this year will include Clooney, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna.

One movie which has already raised anticipation high is Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. It stars last year’s Best Actor Oscar winner Colin Firth. It is an adaptation of John Le Carre's spy novel.

Yet another movie gaining attention is A Dangerous Method. It is directed by the noted Canadian director David Cronenberg. The movie explores the rivalry between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud as a young woman (Knightley) comes between them.

Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion will also be shown. Its cast includes Damon, Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Law and Paltrow.

There is also the Egyptian documentary Tahrir 2011. It covers the revolution and overthrow of the old regime.