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2007 Venice Film Festival lineup

Tuesday, Sept. 4

Venice primed for new Palazzo by 2011
It's a near certainty that ground will be broken on the Venice Film Festival's long-awaited Palazzo del Cinema in the spring, Venice Biennale president David Croff said in an interview Tuesday. The new building should be open for business no later than the 2011 festival -- and perhaps as soon as 2010. Speaking on the sidelines of a special luncheon for the foreign press, Croff and Venice artistic director Marco Mueller basked in the positive feedback surrounding the lineup put together for this year's festival and discussed the latest developments regarding the Palazzo del Cinema project. MORE

Monday, Sept. 3

Attendees cite high-water mark for Venice films
VENICE, Italy -- As the Venice Film Festival starts its second week it begins its transition into a more Italian fest as high-profile execs make the leap from the Lido to the Toronto International Film Festival, which gets under way Thursday. But even as that shift starts, much of the buzz in Venice remained centered on the high-quality lineup Venice artistic director Marco Mueller and his team assembled for this year's edition, with most attendees united in the opinion that the in- and out-of-competition selection this year delivered a slew of films likely to be on next year's Academy Awards nomination list. MORE

'Nuovomundo' a gem again
VENICE, Italy -- Emanuele Crialese's "Nuovomondo" was awarded the Diamanti al Cinema (Cinema Diamonds) for best film late Sunday at the Venice Film Festival, giving it the rare distinction of being honored in consecutive years at the fest. MORE

Saturday, Sept. 1

Lee lends hand to Babelgum online fest

Director Spike Lee was on hand at the Venice Film Festival Saturday to support the launch of an online short film festival set up by web portal Babalgum. Lee will make the final decision on who wins what from the festival categories, which come complete with cash prizes. Organizers said the Babelgum Online Film Festival will award 20,000 euros ($27,500) to the short films in each of six separate categories. The shorts will be voted on by the public from the Web site and then the ten top-rated movies in each category will be judged by a ten-member jury. That jury will select three finalists in each category, with the winners selected by Lee. MORE

Friday, Aug. 31:

De Palma puts Iraq on Venice agenda
The Iraq War got chins wagging on the Lido on Friday. Brian De Palma's "Redacted," the account of a squad of U.S. troops in Iraq and the rape and murder of a 15-year-old Iraqi girl and her family, was a welcome shot of adrenaline in the arm for the festival as it entered its first weekend. Also on Friday, "Michael Clayton" star George Clooney briefly lost his world-renowned cool when an Italian journalist asked him how he could star in a movie that shows the sinister side of corporate America while taking paychecks to promote products from various companies. MORE

Thursday, Aug. 30:

Venice kicks off 'Hundred Films' program
Italy's year-old plan to protect 100 of its greatest films and turn them into a kind of cinema-based cultural archive officially got under way Thursday with the launching of the selection process that will choose the films highlighted. The start of the initiative was announced at the Lido headquarters of the Venice Days sidebar, which also opened Thursday. MORE

FilmItalia chief: Country needs star power
The Italian film industry lacks only a major onscreen star to begin the path toward regaining its glory days, the head of Italy's film promotion body said Thursday in a wide-ranging interview about the future of the Italian film industry. Irene Bignardi, the president of FilmItalia, pronounced the Italian film industry in good health but said that, in comparison to the industry's strongest years in the 1950s and '60s, it lacks an internationally recognized star. MORE

It's Venice vs. Rome in early rounds

The dark rain clouds above the Lido that overshadowed the glamorous opening of the Venice Film Festival this week might have been a harbinger of troubles to come for this grand dame of festivals as it continues to fend off brash new rival the RomaCinemaFest. Much of the fight, industry observers say, comes down to the positioning in the calendar, with Venice now considered to be the starting point in the ever-lengthening Academy Awards campaign race and Rome considered a superior venue for gauging public reaction to new productions. MORE

Wednesday, Aug. 29:

'Vigor,' glam help kick off Venice Film Festival

VENICE, Italy -- The 64th annual Venice Film Festival got under way Wednesday as massive crowds gathered under cloudy skies at the edge of the red carpet and the world premiere of Joe Wright's "Atonement" received a strong reception. The film's star, Keira Knightley, was the darling of the red carpet, with a scrum of photographers eagerly snapping photos of the actress, who was dressed in a long, pale peach dress with sparkling stars across her hair. MORE

Friday, Aug. 24:

Venice festival salutes the spaghetti Western
Venice Film Festival's Secret History of Italian Cinema sidebar created quite a stir when it was announced that the fourth edition would focus on what the locals 'round these parts call "Western all'Italiana." The rest of the world call the films "spaghetti Westerns" -- low-budget, frequently bloody Italian-made horse operas from the 1960s and early 1970s that became a cultural phenomenon that is still very much alive today. MORE

Venice Film Festival lineup is the lion's pride
ROME -- After the roster for this year's Venice International Film Festival was announced in July, it didn't take long before the local media began marveling over an in-competition lineup made up entirely of world premieres for the second year in a row and an out-of-competition program full of prestige titles. A few even asked the loaded question: Could this be the best Venice festival ever? That query would have seemed impossible just a few years ago, when newspapers regularly complained that the venerable festival's once-bright star had faded. In the years since, however, fourth-year artistic director Marco Mueller and his team have steadily returned the fest to its former glory. MORE
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