Polanski, Cronenberg, Winterbottom early selections for Venice Film Festival

The 68th Venice Film Festival has released its initial program for premieres at the 2011 event, August 31-September 10, with several highly-anticipated films by Roman Polanski, David Cronenberg, Todd Solondz and Michael Winterbottom set for screening.

Some films which didn't make Cannes in time are rushing to complete post-production in order to meet the submission deadline, June 24, and others await a decision.

Highlights among the early line-up of films include:

Roman Polanski's Carnage starring Christoph Waltz ( Water for Elephants), Jodie Foster ( The Beaver) and Kate Winslet ( The Reader). This adaptation of the award-winning Broadway drama Gods of Carnage focuses on two couples who meet after their sons' schoolyard brawl.

David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, the story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and their love triangle with a patient. Starring Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley.

Michael Winterbottom's Trishna, starring Freida Pinto ( Slumdog Millionaire) follows the tragic relationship between a property developer's son and rickshaw owner's daughter.

Todd Solondz's Dark Horse starring Mia Farrow and Christopher Walken and Steve McQueen's Shame starring Michael Fassbender ( Inglourious Basterds) and Carey Mulligan ( An Education).

Documentaries include Cameron Crowe's PJ20 about the band Pearl Jam, Jonathan Demme (about Hurricane Katrina) and Fatih Akin Garbage in the Garden of Eden.

Foreign language films include from Aleksandr Sokurov's Faust starring Hanna Schygulla, Philippe Garrel's Un été brûlant, a remake of Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt, starring Monica Belluci in Brigitte Bardot's role.

Films under consideration include two by Steven Spielberg, the drama War Horse and motion-capture animated tale The Adventures of Tintin. Also possible are two by Steven Soderbergh, Contagion with Matt Damon and Kate Winslet, and Haywire about a female black ops soldier, starring Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender.

Also, possibly vying for inclusion are George Clooney's films, The Ides of March, which he directed and costars with Ryan Gosling and Walter Salles' On the Road about Jack Kerouac's trip across America starring Kristen Stewart (‘Twlight Saga') and Garrett Hedlund ( Tron: Legacy).

Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky will head the jury for 2011's Venice Film Festival. He previously won its Golden Lion for The Wrestler with Mickey Rourke.

The remainder of the line-up for the Venice Biennale's Cinema section, including films in competition, will be announced during a July press conference from Rome.




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