Johnny Depp yesterday did what so many visiting stars at the Venice festival simply don't do - he worked the crowds.

Getting maximum value from Venice's short catwalk, he signed autographs, waved and accepted kisses from adoring female fans.

He was in town for Once Upon A time In Mexico, Robert Rodriguez new picture which plays out of competition and was accompanied by Rodriguez and co-star Salma Hayek.

Earlier in the day Hayek and Sylvester Stallone had taken time to present Spy Kids 3D to a young audience at another Venice rarity, a public screening (pictured above).

If the Latin flavour warmed the crowds, the big turn for the aficionados was Omar Sharif. He was in town to receive an honorary Golden Lion from the festival organisers for his lifetime achievements.

The Egyptian-born star, who calculated that he has been in the business for 50 years, is also here to accompany Francois Dupeyron's Monsieur Ibrahim And The Flowers Of The Koran, a period tale about an elderly Arab shop-keeper in 1960s Paris, who is befriended by a Jewish boy. Like Once Upon A Time In Mexico the film was shown out of competition.

Like the Rodriguez film, critics found fault - many said that Monsieur Ibrahim was too sweet, others that its quality tailed off in the second half - but few were willing to deny either picture's commercial potential.