Venice festival adds Skolimowski film to contest

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The Independent Culture

The Venice film festival has added "Essential Killing" by Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski to the movies competing for this year's Golden Lion, organisers said Monday.

The film starring Vincent Gallo as a member of the Taliban captured by Americans and transferred to Europe for interrogation brings the competition lineup to 24.

Gallo will also be present at the festival as the director of "Promises Written in Water", a black-and-white film about a woman with a terminal illness.

Skolimowski, at 62, will be among a handful of veteran directors showcased in Venice, where the emphasis will be on up-and-coming filmmakers.

Kicking off the event will be 41-year-old US director Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" about the cutthroat New York ballet world.

Others in the competition are Oscar-winner Sofia Coppola, 39, of the United States and 43-year-old Francois Ozon of France.

Coppola, who won a best screenplay Oscar for "Lost in Translation" (2003), offers a dramatic comedy "Somewhere," set in Hollywood and produced by her serial Oscar-winning father Francis Ford Coppola.

Organisers will announce a surprise contender on September 6.

The event will screen 79 full-length world premieres from 34 countries including a work from the Dominican Republic for the first time, about its neighbour Haiti.

The world's oldest film festival will run September 1-11.

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