Pernilla August to bow helming debut

ROME — The Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week has unveiled a Eurocentric lineup of seven first works, all world preems, competing in its 25th edition.

Swedish actress Pernilla August, who is the star of several great Swedish films, including Ingmar Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander,” will launch her directorial debut “Beyond,” a psychological drama starring Noomi Rapace (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) from the Lido, with Rapace expected in tow.

Gaul is repped by Alix Delaporte’s “Angele et Tony,” a drama turning on the rapport between a woman just out of jail and a fisherman living with his mom; Italy is in the mix with Massimo Coppola’s “Hai Paura Del Buio,” a drama in which the lives of two young women, one Italian, one Romanian, intersect in the Fiat factory where they both work, produced by Indigo Film. Flying the Israeli/French flag is “Naomi,” a noir by Israel’s Eitan Zur. Zur has helmed many episodes of Israeli TV drama “Be’ Tipul,” which was adapted by HBO in the U.S. into the series “In Treatment.”

Rounding out the selection is Greek political drama “Homeland,” by Syllas Tzoumerkas, a meditation on the country’s current unrest, and Slovenian helmer Vlado Skafar’s “Papa,” about the relationship between father and son.

The only non-European pic that is competing is Mexican entry “Martha” by Marcelino Islas.

“Martha” was described by Critics’ Week artistic topper Francesco Di Pace as being about “a 70-year-old woman who loses her job to a computer.”

The opener will be Italo helmer Carlo Mazzacurati’s thriller “Notte Italiana,” which screened in the independently run Lido section in 1987 and will be unspooling again as a special event.

The closer will be “Limbunan,” a drama about an arranged marriage, by Filipino helmer Gutierrez Mangansakan II, out of competition.

Venice Critics’ Week pics will not be judged by a jury, just by votes cast by festgoers. The top prize is worth Euros 5,000 ($6,400), provided by Venice’s Veneto region.

All Critics’ Week entries will compete alongside titles in the Official Selection for the fest’s Golden Lion of the Future, worth $100,000.

The Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 1-Sept. 11.

The Lido’s official lineup will be announced July 29.

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