Venice Fest Unveils Venice Days Lineup

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Kim Ki-duk

The independent sidebar will open with Kim Ki-duk's "One on One" and close with soccer documentary "Messi."

ROME – Venice Days, an independent sidebar of the Venice Film Festival, hits its 11th year running with a focus on young filmmakers and young actors.

Kim Ki-duk's One on One will open the sidebar, organizers said on Tuesday. It will screen out of competition. Ki-duk is a favorite at the main festival, having won the Silver Lion in 2004 for 3-Iron and the Golden Lion for Pieta in 2012.

The Korean filmmaker returns to his dark roots with the new trauma tale of seven members of a terrorist group tracking down seven suspects for the brutal rape and murder of a school girl.

This year marks the first time that Venice Days will host its own competition for the Venice Days Awards. The jury for the 12 entries is the 28 Times Cinema, or 28 young film members from each of the 28 European Union states. The prize comes with a $27,000 (€20,000) award.

Also in the running: Shawn Christensen who has expanded his Academy Award-winning short film Curfew into feature Before I Disappear, about a man at the lowest point in his life who gets a call from his estranged sister asking him to play babysitter. Christensen plays the lead role alongside actors Emmy Rossum, Ron Perlman, Fatima Ptacek and Paul Wesley.

Italy provides a strong showing in this year's Venice Days lineup, with Ivano de Matteo's The Dinner, about a fancy night out gone horribly wrong. Felice Farina premieres Patria, about the economic crisis as seen through the eyes of a union organizer and two blue-collar and white-collar counterparts.

France's Laurent Cantet, winner of the 2008 Palme d'Or for The Class, brings the Cuba-set Return to Ithaca, about a group of friends celebrating the return of an exiled friend. Also representing France, Christophe Honore brings his interpretation of Ovid to the big screen with Metamorphoses, about a character named Europe who stumbles into a land off a motorway exit where Gods battle mortals.

The Miu Miu-sponsored Women's Tales offers two new shorts from strong female voices. So Yong Kim's Spark and Light follows a car breakdown in an Icelandic landscape. In Miranda July's Somebody, her first release since 2011's The Future, the artist and filmmaker invents a new type of messaging system.

Venice Days closes with Messi, an intimate look at the rise of the Argentine soccer superstar. Director Alex de la Iglesia mixes actor reenactments, archive material and interviews. The documentary is sure to bring a tide of fans to the Lido, won over by the player who recently took home the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball award for best player of the tournament in Brazil.

The full lineup for the Venice Film Festival will be announced on Thursday.

Twitter: @Aristonla