August pic is one of seven first works

The Venice Film Festival continued to round out its program on Monday, announcing its Venice Days sidebar, while Italo film critics’ union SNCCI unveiled its competition lineup for the Venice Critics Week.

U.S. scribe-helmer John August’s directorial debut, “The Nines,” about the connection between a troubled actor, a TV showrunner and videogame designer, is among seven first works in competition at Critics Week.

Toplining Ryan Reynolds and Hope Davis, pic was a hot title at Sundance, where Newmarket snapped up North American rights for theatrical, and Sony grabbed North American rights for homevid and TV.

Other entries include Gallic ensemble drama “24 Measures,” by Jalil Lespert; “Karoy,” a tragicomedy set in Kazakh villages, by Kazakhstan’s Zhanna Issabayeva; “Otryv,” a Russian plane-crash drama, by Alexander Mindadze; and “La ragazza del lago,” a thriller by Italy’s Andrea Molaioli.

Rounding out the selection are Belgian road movie “Small Gods,” by Dimitri Karakatsanis; “The Most Distant Course,” by Taiwanese newcomer Lin Jing-jie; and “Year of the Nail,” the first feature by Jonas Cuaron, Alfonso’s son. Pic, which preemed at the Guadalajara Film Festival, is screening at the Lido as a special event.

Meanwhile, U.S. helmer Ed Radtke’s “Superheroes” will world preem in Venice Days, which is otherwise heavy on European entries with a special accent on Italo pics.

Pic, about a 13-year-old New York kid who steals videocameras from tourists, does not have a U.S. distributor.

Highlights of the 12 Venice Days world preems include Gallic helmer Emmanuel Mouret’s “Shall We Kiss?”; “Tricks,” by Polish helmer Andrzej Jakimowsli; and Teutonic black comedy “Head Under Water,” by Andreas Kleinart.

Leading an Italo trio is Sardinia-set political comedy “Sympathy for the Lobster,” by Sabina Guzzanti, whose scathing anti-Silvio Berlusconi docu “Viva Zapatero!” launched at Venice Days in 2005 before going to Sundance.

The Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 29-Sept. 8. The Lido’s official lineup will be announced Thursday.

Films featured at Venice Days:

  • “Andalucia” (Alain Gomis)

  • “Buongiorno culini. Vita e opere di Luciano Bianciardi” (Massimo Coppola and Alberto Piccinini)

  • “Cargo 200″ (Alexey Balabanov)

  • “Continental. A Film Without Guns” (Stéphane Lafleur)

  • “Head under water” (Andreas Kleinert)

  • “Plum Rain” (Frédéric Fisbach)

  • “La zona” (Rodrigo Pla)

  • “Sympathy for the Lobster” (Sabina Guzzanti)

  • “Born Without” (Eva Norvind)

  • “Non pensarci” (Gianni Zanasi)

  • “Under the bombs” (Philippe Aractingi)

  • “Superheroes” (Ed Radtke)

  • “Tricks” (Andrzej Jakimowski)

  • “Shall we kiss?” (Emmanuel Mouret)

  • “Valzer” (Salvatore Maira)

  • “Viaggio in corso nel cinema di Carlo Lizzani” (Francesca Del Sette)

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