Section features first-time helmers

ROME — U.S. helmer Dylan Kidd’s romance “P.S. I Love You” will open the Venice Film Festival’s 19th Critics Week sidebar.

The section, featuring first-time helmers, will showcase seven in-competition features: “Koi no mon” by Matsuo Suzuki (Japan); “Le grand voyage,” Ismael Ferroukhi (Morocco/France); “Les liens,” Aymeric Mesa-Juan (France); “Sakenine sarzamine sokoot,” Saman Salur (Iran); “Una de dos” (One or the Other), Alejo Hernan Taube, (Argentina); “Uninhibited,” Chen Leste (Taiwan); and “Va lakachta lecha isha” (To Take a Wife), Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz (Israel).

An eighth will be announced at a later date.

Pics will be eligible to compete (along with all other in-competition films at the fest) for the Lion of the Future, also called the “Luigi De Laurentiis” award, given to a debut director.

Prize includes E100,000 ($122,000) donated by helmer Aurelio De Laurentiis’ Filmauro.

“P.S.” and sidebar closer “Butterfly,” Hong Kong helmer Yan Yan Mak’s look at anti-lesbian prejudice, are both non-competitive films by second-time directors who presented their first work at past editions of the Critics Week.

Pics also vie for two new awards — an audience prize of $3,600 and a youth nod that holds no cash prize.

The National Union of Italian Film critics (SNCCI) presents the lineup for Critics Week. The 61st Venice fest runs Sept. 1-11.

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