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venice film festival 2014


Birdman, a comedy drama about an actor trying to escape the shadow of a famous superhero role, has opened this year’s Venice Film Festival in Italy.

Michael Keaton joined the rest of the film’s stars on the Lido at the world premiere that launched this year’s 12-day event.

Birdman is one of 20 titles up for the Golden Lion, the Venice Film Festival’s main award.

French composer Alexandre Desplat heads this year’s jury, which also includes the British actor Tim Roth.

Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell and Palestinian film-maker Elia Suleiman are also members of the nine-strong panel.

Birdman has opened this year’s Venice Film Festival in Italy

Birdman has opened this year’s Venice Film Festival in Italy

Other movies they will assess include Al Pacino’s latest outing Manglehorn; Abel Ferrera’s new film about Italian director Paolo Pasolini; and Good Kill, starring Ethan Hawke as a US military drone pilot.

Films that will screen out of competition include The Sound and the Fury, James Franco’s adaptation of the William Faulkner novel, and a longer version of the second half of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac.

The Venice Film Festival will close with The Golden Era, a three-hour biopic about a radical writer from the 1900s directed the Hong Kong film-maker Ann Hui.

Attendees at Wednesday’s opening night gala included Julie Gayet, the French actress whose affair with France’s president Francois Hollande made headlines around the world.

Venice is the first of the autumn’s major international film festivals. Telluride opens on Friday in Colorado, while the Toronto Film Festival gets under way next week in Canada.

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