ROME — Chinese independent feature “Haixian” (Seafood) by debuting director Zhu Wen has been added to the new Cinema of the Present competition at the 58th Venice Intl. Film Festival, while Argentinean actress Cecilia Roth and U.S. producer-director Taylor Hackford will complete the main competition jury.
“Haixian” concerns a Beijing prostitute intending to commit suicide and the policeman from the provinces who uses questionable methods to dissuade her. Newcomer Zhu was one of the screenwriters on Zhang Yuan’s “Seventeen Years,” which won the directing prize at Venice in 1999.
The addition of the Chinese feature brings the number of titles in Venice’s new competition for cutting-edge fare to 21. The pics, to be judged by a jury of international critics and film journalists, will compete for the Lion of the Year award plus $100,000 offered by Telecom Italia.
Italian actor-director Nanni Moretti will preside over the fest’s main jury, awarding the Golden Lion in the traditional competition, this year known as Venezia 58.
New jury member Roth is best known for her starring role in Pedro Almodovar’s 2000 Oscar winner “All About My Mother,” while Hackford’s most recent feature was “Proof of Life.” The director’s “Dolores Claiborne” screened in Venice’s midnight lineup in 1995.
The 58th Venice fest runs Aug. 29-Sept. 8.