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After Clooney, Venice fest features indies

Aug. 26, 2008 at 4:37 PM

VENICE, Italy, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- George Clooney will kick off the 2008 Venice Film Festival with his latest effort but after that independent movies will hold sway, officials said.

Clooney and co-star Brad Pitt were set to walk the red carpet Wednesday in Venice to promote their new major studio film, "Burn After Reading" by filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen. Other than that the festival will largely concentrate on works from lesser-known or first-time directors, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.

It said the only other well-known U.S. directors entering works this year include Jonathan Demme with his comedy "Rachel Getting Married," and Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq drama "Hurt Locker," starring Colin Farrell, Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes and Willem Dafoe. One lesser-known U.S. director at the fest is Darren Aronofsky, whose film "The Wrestler" stars Mickey Rourke in the title role, ANSA said.

The slate is chock full of interesting movies from around the world as well, including Iranian director Amir Naderi's "Vegas, Based On a True Story," and Mexican screenwriter-turned-director Guillermo Arriaga, whose first effort directing, "The Burning Plain," is family drama starring Kim Basinger and Theron.

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