The 69th edition of the Venice Film Festival takes place from August 29 to September 8, at the famous Lido Palace, with 18 films competing for the prestigious Golden Lion that will be awarded the last day of the festival, by a jury presided this year by US film director Michael Mann. The jury includes sounding names like Marina Abramovic, Laetitia Casta, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Ari Folman, Matteo Garrone, Ursula Meier, Samantha Morton and Pablo Trapero.The festival opened yesterday with the political thriller ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ of Indian director Mira Nair, with Kate Hudson and Liev Schreiber. In the contest, the American Terrence Malick will be present with his film ‘To the Wonder,’ starring Ben Affleck, Rachel Weisz and Javier Bardem, while Brian de Palma comes with ‘Passion,’ with Rachel McAdams in the main role. Takeshi Kitano is present with his production ‘Outrage beyond,’ and Marco Bellocchio brings his ‘Bella Addormentata’ (‘The Sleepign Beauty’).Apart from the aforementioned cinema movies, the official selection also includes ‘Apres mai (Something in the air)’ by Olivier Assayas (France), ‘At any price’ by Ramin Bahrani (USA/UK), ‘La cinquieme saison’ by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth (Belgium/ Netherlands/France), ‘Lemale et ha’chalal (Fill the void)’ by Rama Burshtein (Israel), ‘E stato il figlio’ by Daniele Cipri (Italia), ‘Un giorno speciale’ by Francesca Comencini (Italy), ‘Superstar’ by Xavier Giannoli (France/Belgium), ‘Pieta’ by Kim Ki-Duk (Korea), ‘Spring Breakers’ by Harmony Korine (SUA), ‘Sinapupunan (Thy Womb)’ by Brillante Mendoza (Filipine), ‘Linhas de Wellington’ by Valeria Sarmiento (Portugal/France), ‘Paradies: Glaube (Paradise: Faith) by Ulrich Seidl (Austria/France/Germany), ‘Izmena (Betrayal)’ by Kirill Serebrennikov (Rusia) and ‘The Master’ by Paul Thomas Anderson (USA).Outside the competition, an important moment of the 69th edition of the ‘Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica della Biennale di Venezia’ will be the presence of Robert Redford, in front and behind the camera, in ‘The Company you Keep,’ together with Shia LaBeouf and Julie Christie. Another production that sparked much interest is Spike Lee’s documentary ‘Bad 25,’ a film about the 25th anniversary of the album ‘Bad’ by late pop megastar Michael Jackson.Also in Venice, Manoel de Oliveira (a veteran of the industry, as he will turn 104 in December) will delight his fans with his latest film ‘O Gebo e a Sombra,’ starring famous actors like Michael Lonsdale, Claudia Cardinale and Jeanne Moreau.