Tarantino to head Venice jury

Several hot titles expected to unspool

Quentin Tarantino will head the competition jury of the 67th Venice Film Festival, which has already secured several hot titles.

Tarantino, praised by fest topper Marco Mueller as “one of the most startling directors in cinema today,” is a Venice aficionado.

While none of his films have screened on the Lido, Tarantino has been the “godfather” of two important Venice sidebars, the Italian Kings of the B’s retro in 2004 and the Spaghetti Westerns retro in 2007.

As for films launching from the Lido this year, Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere,” which was partly shot in Italy; Monte Hellman’s noir “Road to Nowhere,” also partly shot in Italy; Julian Schnabel’s “Miral,” starring Freida Pinto (“Slumdog Millionaire”) as a refugee camp teacher in postwar Jerusalem; and Francois Ozon’s “Potiche,” are all tipped for slots in the official selection.

“Potiche,” which stars Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu and is based on a play set in 1997 in the Gallic provinces, had been floated for the Cannes opening-night slot that went to Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood.”

“Miral” also had reportedly been in the Cannes mix.

The fest will run Sept. 1-11.

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