71st Venice Film Festival Begins at the Lido

| Wed, 08/27/2014 - 02:00

[In the photo: Elio Germano in "Il giovane favoloso", one of the three Italian films competing for the Golden Lion.]

The 71st Venice Film Festival begins at the Lido today.

Several international high-caliber stars are expected on the red carpet, including Al Pacino, who is scheduled to arrive on August 30 and stars in two films screening at the festival, “Manglehorn” and “The Humbling”. Other much-awaited names include Catherine Deneuve, Viggo Mortensen, Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton, James Franco and Emma Stone.

Among the Italian superstars who are expected at the festival is Sophia Loren (attendance not confirmed), who turns 80 on September 20th, and will be honored with a documentary, an exhibition, and a special screening of the restored version of “Una giornata particolare”.

Three Italian films vie for the coveted Golden Lion, the festival's highest prize, giving Italy a chance to have a two-year winning streak after last year’s win with “Sacro GRA”.

The three competing movies are Mario Martone's “Il Giovane Favoloso” (The Fabulous Young Man), Saverio Costanzo's “Hungry Hearts”, and Francesco Munzi’s “Anime nere” (Black Souls).

“Il Giovane Favoloso” stars Elio Germano, who plays one of Italy’s most important poets, Giacomo Leopardi, portrayed as an anti-conformist rebel. “Hungry Hearts”, set in New York City, stars Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher playing a couple who fights over their son’s diet.  “Anime nere”, based on the book by Gioacchino Ciriaco, explores the contemporary state of Calabrian organized crime, the 'Ndrangheta.

Each of the three competing films is said to have a good chance at winning the Golden Lion.