Michael Moore's film on the financial crisis and the directorial debut of US fashion designer Tom Ford will compete for the Golden Lion award at this year's Venice film festival, organisers said Thursday.
"It's one of the most surprising and strongest selections," the event's director Marco Muller told reporters in Rome.
Twenty-four films will do battle for the festival's top prize, including Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" and Ford's "A Single Man," based on Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel.
The distributors of Moore's film, Overture Films and Paramount Vantage, have said the movie will take "a comical look at the corporate and political shenanigans" that culminated in last year's multi-billion-dollar Wall Street bailout.
"The wealthy, at some point, decided they didn't have enough wealth. They wanted more -- a lot more -- so they systematically set about to fleece the American people out of their hard-earned money," Moore said in May.
"Now, why would they do this? That is what I seek to discover in this movie," added the oscar-winning director whose past targets have included President George W. Bush, the US healthcare system and the gun lobby.
"A Single Man", starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, is the first film by 48-year-old Ford, a former Gucci designer.
Other festival offerings include "Cinema Paradiso" director Giuseppe Tornatore's "Baaria," a love story based in a Sicilian village.
The film will be the first Italian movie to open the festival in 20 years.
Moore's 2002 film "Bowling for Columbine" won the best documentary Academy Award the following year, while 2004's "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- a searing look at the Bush administration's conduct following the September 11, 2001 attacks -- earned the Cannes Film Festival's prestigious Palme d'Or.
In all more than 80 films will be presented at the festival.
The jury for the 66th festival, which will run from September 2-12, will be chaired by Taiwanese film-maker Ang Lee, the Oscar-winning director of "Brokeback Mountain."
"The Wrestler," starring American actor Mickey Rourke, won the Golden Lion last year.
Here is a list of the 24 films competing for the Golden Lion with the exception of one "surprise film" which will be announced during the festival.
- "Baaria" by Giuseppe Tornatore - Italy
- "Soul Kitchen" by Fatih Akin - Germany
- "La Doppia Ora" by Giuseppe Capotondi - Italy
- "Yi Ngoi" (Accident) by Cheang Pou-Soi - China, Hong Kong
- "Persecution" de Patrice Chereau - France
- "Lo spazio bianco" by Francesca Comencini - Italy
- "White Material" by Claire Denis - France
- "Mr. Nobody" by Jaco van Dormael - France
- "A Single Man" by Tom Ford - US
- "Lourdes" by Jessica Hausner - Austria
- "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" by Werner Herzog - US
- "The Road" by John Hillcoat - US
- "Ahasin Wetei" (Between two words) by Vimukhti Jayasundara - Sri Lanka
- "El Mosafer" (The traveller) by Ahmed Maher - Egypt
- "Levanon" (Lebanon) by Samuel Maoz - Israel
- "Capitalism: A love Story" by Michael Moore - USA
- "Zanan-E Bedun-E Mardan" (Women without Men) by Shirin Neshat - Germany
- "Il Grande sogno" by Michele Placido - Italy
- "36 Vues du Pic Saint Loup" by Jacques Rivette - France
- "Survival of the dead" by George Romero - US
- "Life during wartime" by Todd Solondz - US
- "Tetsuo the Bullet Man" by Shinya Tsukamoto - Japan
- "Lei Wangzi" (Prince of tears) by Yonfan - China, Taiwan, Hong Kong.
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