Venice Film Festival announces Golden Lion contenders

Al Pacino, pictured in 2012.
Al Pacino, pictured in 2012. Victoria Will / Invision/The Associated Press

ROME – This year’s Venice Film Festival will tackle topics from the financial crisis to drone warfare, and feature performances from Willem Dafoe, Al Pacino and Ethan Hawke.

Organizers on Thursday announced a 20-strong competition lineup that includes Ramin Bahrani’s subprime mortgage drama 99 Homes, with Andrew Garfield and Laura Dern, and Andrew Niccol’s The Good Kill, starring Hawke as a dissatisfied drone operator.

The latter will have its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September.

Other films competing for the Golden Lion include David Gordon Green’s Texan drama Manglehorn starring Pacino and Holly Hunter; Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini, starring Dafoe as the taboo-breaking Italian filmmaker; and The Cut by Turkish-German director Fatih Akin.

Manglehorn and Pasolini will also be screened at TIFF.

The 71st Venice Film Festival opens Aug. 27 with the world premiere of Alejandro Inarritu’s Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, starring Michael Keaton. The festival runs to Sept. 6.

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– with files by Global News