ROME – The Venice Film festival will launch with a bang this year as the techno-thriller Gravity starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts stranded in outer space opens the 70th edition of the world’s oldest festival, organizers announced Thursday.
Twenty films will vie for the coveted Golden Lion, including Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem starring Christoph Waltz and Matt Damon, Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin featuring Scarlett Johansson, Stephen Frears’ Philomena with Judi Dench and Joe starring Nicolas Cage.
Representing Canada, Xavier Dolan’s Tom a la Ferme also earned a spot in the prestigious competition.
Gravity is among 17 films showing out of competition in the festival that runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 7.
The festival lineup is strong on auteur films but light on film fest blockbusters, a delicate point for festival organizers competing with Cannes, which shows in the spring, and Toronto, which overlaps…
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