Rodriguez's 'Machete' to debut at Venice fest

Organizers also announce full lineup for Orizzonti sidebar

ROME -- The world premiere of Robert Rodriguez's action thriller "Machete" will screen in Venice as the midnight film on the festival's opening night, organizers said Wednesday.

"Machete," which will screen out of competition, has an unusual pedigree: the film was first conceived as a fake trailer in Rodriguez's 2007 action flick "Grindhouse." The film stars Danny Trejo in the main role, as a former Mexican cop double-crossed by a dishonest politician played by Robert De Niro. Jesica Alba, Don Johnson, Lindsay Lohan, Cheech Marin and Steven Segal also appear in the cast.

The film will be Rodriguez's first in Venice in seven years, but he will be surrounded by familiar faces. Quentin Tarantino, whose crime thriller "Death Proof" was part of the "Grindhouse" package, is the president of Venice's jury this year.

"Machete" will screen in Venice's main venue, the Sala Grande, just hours after Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" officially opens the festival on Sept. 1.

Also on Wednesday, Venice organizers announced the full lineup for the Orizzonti sidebar. Orizzonti, which starting this year is open to all "extra-format" works, will include nearly 70 full-length films, documentaries and shorts. The films will be eligible for four new prizes: the Orizzonti Award for full-length films, a special jury prize, and prizes for short- and medium-length films.

Organizers said the section will open with French director Catherine Breillat's "La Belle Endormie." As previously announced, Hong Sang-soo's "Oki-eui young-hwa" ("Oki's Movie") will close the sidebar.

The full lineup for the 67th edition of the Venice Film Festival will be announced Thursday. The festival runs Sept. 1-11.
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