Venice fest grows digital lineup


NEMI, Italy -- The 64th annual Venice Film Festival is going more high tech than ever, with more digital films than in any previous festival, including the 3-D version of Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" -- a first for Venice.

In a series of announcements Thursday, the festival also said it will host the fifth International Digital Cinema Forum on Sept. 5, a forum be dedicated to 3D stereoscopic digital technologies.

Organizers also unveiled two new international panels to take place during the festival, both moderated by film historian Peter Cowie. A Sept. 3 panel titled Eastern Western: The Impact of the Spaghetti Western in Asia and America, is a nod to the attention-grabbing Spaghetti Western sidebar taking place during the festival, while a panel on Sept. 4. will review the Impact of the Venice Film Festival on the Circulation of Quality Films.

In addition to Burton's "Nightmare," digital screenings include the rerelease of the refurbished and remastered version of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner," Jonathan Demme's Jimmy Carter documentary "Man From Plains," "Wuyong" (Useless) from Jia Zhangke, Barbara Cupisti's "Madri" and the updated version of John Ford's 1924 silent cowboy classic "The Iron Horse."

Venice, which runs Aug. 29-Sept. 8, has six locations specifically outfitted for screening digital programming.