'Tedium' permeates this year's Venice fest

Surprise film added to Horizons sidebar

ROME -- The Venice Film Festival on Friday announced one of the two surprise films that will screen at this year's festival, revealing that the Iranian film "Tedium" will have its world premiere in the festival's Horizons sidebar.

"Khastegi" is the debut film from director Bahman Motamedian -- best known in Iran as a theater director, writer and photographer. The film tells the unlikely story of a group of Iranian transsexuals in Tehran.

"Making a film about transsexuals and their problems in Iran was a difficult task," the 39-year-old Motamedian said. "It became something of a challenge, as I could see myself more as a fighter than as a filmmaker."

The film will screen three times in Venice, with a special press and industry screening Aug. 28 and two screenings open to the public the following day.

There is no indication yet when the final surprise film will be announced, though in the past, at least one film was revealed on the eve of the festival's start. The Venice festival is set to run Aug. 27-Sept. 6.