'Kisses' to open Venice Film Fest sidebar

Valerio Mastrandrea will head Contracampo Italiano jury

ROME -- "I baci mai dati" ("Kisses Never Given"), a coming-of-age story about a young girl in southern Italy, will be the opening film in the second Contracampo Italiano competitive sidebar at the Venice Film Festival, organizers said Tuesday.

The film was written and directed by Milan-based Roberta Torre, whose 1997 drama "Tano da morire" won her three secondary prizes in Venice and a David di Donatello award for best new director. The film stars newcomer Carla Marchese, in the protagonist's role, and starlet Donatella Finocchiaro as the young girl's mother.

The festival also announced that well known Italian Generation X actor Valerio Mastrandrea will head the jury for the Contracampo Italiano sidebar.

The Contracampo Italiano event was launched last year to highlight trends in Italian cinema. It will include a maximum of seven new entries, whether fiction or documentaries, and all will screen at the festival's Sala Grande. All of the entries will be world premieres.

The 67th edition of the Venice Film Festival will take place Sept. 1-11.