George Lucas to present Lasseter honor

Will be 'Star Wars' creator's first trip to Venice Film Festival

ROME -- "Star Wars" creator George Lucas will make his first trip to the Venice Film Festival this year to present the Golden Lion award for lifetime achievement to John Lasseter and the directors of Disney/Pixar, Venice organizers said Thursday.

The presentation, set for Sept. 6 in the Palazzo del Cinema's Sala Grande, will be held in conjunction with screenings of new 3D version of classics "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2," from 1995-99, respectively. Lasseter directed both films.

The evening will also include the premiere of a 10-minute clip from "The Princess and the Frog," Disney's return to hand-drawn animation, and the screening of a new sequence from the in-production project "Toy Story 3."

A day later, on Sept. 7, Lasseter and Disney/Pixar's Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unrich will host a two-session masterclass, including one session reserved for young European animators.

Though the trip will be the first to the Venice Lido for Lucas, Venice was the platform for the European release of two of the films in the "Star Wars" series: 1980's "The Empire Strikes Back" and 1983's "Return of the Jedi."

The 66th edition of the Venice festival is set for Sept. 2-12.