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VENICE 2010 Competition

Varied line-up and “virtual market” for 67th Mostra

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Varied line-up and “virtual market” for 67th Mostra

With a slightly reduced budget (€12m, of which €7.7m are state funds) and some necessary cost-cutting, given the times – "We’re adopting a sober approach”, says Biennale president Paolo Baratta, which means forget about the lavish opening night dinner on the beach, which has replaced by a buffet at the Excelsior) – the 67th Venice Film Festival (September 1-11) will unfold in virtually all its splendor, even though not yet in the new Palazzo del Cinema (which will be ready in spring 2012). At least judging by artistic director Marco Mueller, who is in grand form.

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This year, Mueller offers 79 world premiers, with 13 US titles in the Official Selection alone. Darren Aronofsky Black Swan, Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, Vincent Gallo’s Promises Written In Water, Road To Nowhere by the legendary Monte Hellman, Julian Schnabel’s Miral (a co-production with France, Italy and Israel) and Kelly Reichardt Meek's Cutoff will screen in Competition. While the latest films by Ben Affleck, Julie Taymor and Robert Rodriguez, and Martin Scorsese’s documentary on Elia Kazan, to name but a few, with be seen out of competition.

Italy is the most represented country (see news), followed by France: 11 films, with Competition titles such as Antony Cordier’s Happy Few, Abdel Kechiche’s Venus Noire and François Ozon’s Potiche. (For the other French films, see news on the Horizons sidebar selection).

Germany is in competition with Tom Tykwer’s Drei (and has three films in Horizons), while Greece surprisingly has Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Attenberg in competition (see news), as well as Georgios Zois’ short Casus Belli in Horizons. There is one film from the Czech Republic, Jan Svankmajer’s Surviving Life, in Out of Competition, alongside Spanish/Brazilian title Lope by Andrucha Waddington. Alex de la Iglesia – "a great filmmaker with an unusual and beautiful film”, according to Mueller – brings to competition Balada triste de Trompeta.

The Competition list is rounded out by Aleksei Fedorchenko’s Russian film Silent Souls; the Chilean/Mexican/German co-production Post Mortem by Pablo Larrain; Richard J. Lewis’ highly anticipated Canadian/Italian title Barney's Version, starring Dustin Hoffman; Miike Takashi’s 3 Assassins (Japan/UK); Tran Anh Hung’s Norwegian Wood (Japan); and Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame by the renowned Hong Kong director Tsui Hark.

Lastly, the Festival has announced a three-year agreement with ANICA (the umbrella association for film and multi-media companies) to create a permanent platform that offers periodic discussions on the economic and structural factors of cinema.

In regards to a market, the Festival is launching a unified digital system for viewing films online, with direct computer access to accredited professionals. A "virtual market" that, said Marco Mueller jokingly, will put to rest negotiations on Venice film at the market of the Toronto Film Festival, which opens the week that Venice ends.

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(Translated from Italian)

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