Natalie Portman's 'Eve' bound for Venice

Film will screen out of competition in shorts sidebar

LOCARNO, Switzerland -- Natalie Portman's directorial debut will open the Venice Film Festival's short-film sidebar, with the actress-director expected to be on hand for the event's Sept. 1 opening.

Portman's 17-minute "Eve," which Venice organizers called "a civilized comedy," stars Lauren Bacall and Ben Gazzara. It will unspool in an out-of-competition slot in the Corto Cortissimo section, along with three other opening-night films.

The sidebar's 18-strong competition lineup includes two films each from the U.S., the U.K., Belgium and France. It also includes Venice's first-ever Vietnamese film in a competition section: "Khi toi 20" (When I Am Twenty), a 20-minute drama from Dang Di Phan.

"Jarred," a 12-minute production from Martin Gaiss, will be the sidebar's closing film, screening out of competition.

A three-person jury will select a best overall short film, best European production and one special mention award.

The 65th Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 27-Sept. 6.
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