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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Venice set for Film Festival
Workers at Venice film festival
The festival often serves as a launch for Hollywood films
The 58th Venice Film Festival is set to open on Wednesday with 41 films in competition for the top Golden Lion Award.

Among the stars expected for the festival - which is older than Berlin or Cannes - are Nicole Kidman, Danny DeVito, Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman.

Nicole Kidman and Gene Hackman are among the stars expected for the 58th Venice film festival set to open Wednesday.

Organisers have pressed a cruise ship into service in order to cater for expected visitors to the festival which is part of summer-long Venice Biennale exhibitions and events.

Nanni Moretti
Nanni Moretti received the Palme d'Or in May
This year's festival will feature two competitions for the first time - the Venice 58 for international full-length films and the New Cinema of the Present category.

In the Venice 58, Nicole Kidman's new film The Others will compete alongside Bully by Kids director Larry Clark and The Navigators directed by Ken Loach.

The Hours
Kidman stars in spooky thriller The Hours
The jury that will select the winner of the Golden Lion on 8 September will be headed by Italian director Nanni Moretti whose latest film La Stanza del Figlio won the Cannes Festival's Palme d'Or in May.

Other jury members include author Amitav Gosh, director Taylor Hackford and actresses Cecilia Roth and Jeanne Balibar.

In the New Cinema of the Present category, 21 films will compete for the new Lion of the Year award.

Lucky Break
Lucky Break is the latest from Full Monty director
This category includes Sandra Goldbacher's Me Without You from Britain and Werner Herzog's latest offering Invincible.

Organisers say the new category will include fringe films that run counter to current genres, providing innovation and creative originality.

Meanwhile the Venice 58 category will see the best and most radical of art films alongside the most original and innovative spectacular movies.

Films competing are Woody Allen's The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Richard Linklater's Waking Life and Steven Spielberg's Artificial Intelligence.

Woody Allen
Allen's stars with Helen Hunt in his new film
The 20 films in the international competition come from pain, Italy, France, Hong Kong, Mexico, the Netherlands, India, Romania, Brazil and the United States.

Other films competing during the 11-day festival include British director Geoff Dunbar's animated film Tuesday, featuring the voices of Dustin Hoffman and Paul McCartney, David Mamet's Heist and Woody Allen's The Curse of the Jade Scorpion.

The festival will also include a retrospective of the cinematic works of Polish director Andrzej Munk and Frenchman Guy Debord.

French film-maker Eric Rohmer will be awarded the Golden Lion lifetime achievement award.

Cannes special
News and features from the film festival
See also:

24 May 01 | Film
Moretti on Venice jury
13 Jul 01 | Showbiz
Kidman and Crowe 'holiday in Fiji'
31 May 01 | Showbiz
Kidman wins 'stalking' case
26 Jun 01 | Film
Woody Allen sued over contract
09 May 01 | Oscars 2002
Moulin sets cinema in motion
26 Jan 01 | Entertainment
The buzz at Sundance
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