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Venice adds extra dimension to prizes

Festival brings in 3-D stereoscopic award

ROME — The Venice Film Festival is riding the 3-D wave all the way, launching a nod for best 3-D stereoscopic film of the year.

Sponsored by Italy’s fashionable Persol eyeware, the new Lido nod will go to a 3-D feature deemed the most creative among those produced globally between September 2008 and August 2009.

The three-member jury comprises U.S. critic Scott Foundas, who is film editor of L.A. Weekly and a Variety contributor; fellow Yank esteemed cinephile Dave Kehr, columnist for the New York Times; and Italian experimental 3-D filmmaker Nadia Ranocchi, member of a visual arts collective called Zapruder.

3-D prize segues from previously announced career Golden Lion to John Lasseter and his Pixar team, who will unveil the 3-D versions of “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2.”

Lasseter, who is chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, will travel to the Lido accompanied by helmers and fellow award-winners, Brad Bird (“Ratatouille”), Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”), Lee Unkrich (“Finding Nemo”) and Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E”).

Another expected, though still unconfirmed, 3-D title is Joe Dante’s horror pic “The Hole.”

In a separate announcement on Monday, the fest’s parent organization, the Venice Biennale, announced some infrastructural improvements.

Pending ongoing construction of the Lido’s new Palazzo del Cinema, the Venice fest will have a new provisional 450-seat tent-like theater, called Sala Perla 2, for pics unspooling in Venice Days and Critics’ Week sidebars.

The Sala Palalido, where many of the press screenings were formerly held, will be renamed Sala Darsena and will become equipped with a red carpet to accommodate the fest’s cutting-edge competitive Horizons section.

Also the Lido will have a new general entrance this year, directly from the dock side of the Casino where accreditation services will be located.

The 66th edition of Venice will run Sept. 2-12.

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