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Venice Days sidebar taps U.S. movies

Fest to feature 'Before,' 'Cart,' 'Love'

ROME — Three pics from the States — all with non-U.S. natives as central characters — are among 14 geographically diverse titles set to unspool at the upcoming Venice Film Festival’s Venice Days sidebar.

The American titles are Nu Image’s “Before It Had a Name,” about a young Italian widow romantically entangled in upper New York state. Drama by Italo helmer-thesp Giada Colagrande (“Open My Heart”) stars herself and husband Willem Dafoe, who is expected to attend.

“Man Push Cart” by U.S.-born Ramin Bahrani follows a one-time Pakistani pop singer peddling coffee on Manhattan streets, while New York-based Serbian helmer Vladan Nikolic’s “Love” is about an ex-member of the Yugoslav military who becomes an American hit man. “Love” unspooled at the Tribeca Film Festival.

After launching Venice Days with an exclusively European lineup last year, topper Giorgio Gosetti has made “cultural diversity” the theme of its upcoming edition.

Opener will be “Le petit lieutenant,” a police drama by French helmer-thesp Xavier Beauvois, starring Nathalie Baye and Jacques Perrin.

Section’s 10 world preems also include “Allegro,” by Danish helmer Christoffer Boe (“Reconstruction”); “Attente,” by Palestinian helmer Rashid Masharawi (“Ticket to Jerusalem”); and Italo helmer Pasquale Scimeca’s “La passione di Giosue L’Ebreo.”

First works preeming are “13 — tzameti,” by Georgian director Gela Babluani; “Parabola,” from Moroccan helmer Karim Oulhaj; and “Craj — domani,” a docu by Italian Davide Marengo.

Venice Days is independently run by Italy’s National Film Authors Assn., ANAC and modeled on Cannes’ Directors Fortnight and Berlin’s Forum.

Pics in the noncompetitive sidebar will be eligible for the Europa Cinemas award, which provides European Union-funded distribution coin. Venice Days first works will be eligible to compete for the fest’s Lion of the Future, worth E100,000 ($120,000).

The Venice fest unspools Aug 31-Sept 10. Its official lineup will be announced Thursday. See Variety.com for the full list.

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