June 10, 2009 / 1:23 PM / 10 years ago

Tornatore to open Venice film festival

Italian film director Giuseppe Tornatore addresses a news conference to introduce his new Italian film "Malena" at the 51st Berlin Film Festival February 9, 2001. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

ROME (Reuters) - Oscar-winning director Giuseppe Tornatore will open this year’s Venice film festival with “Baaria,” an epic drama set in the Sicilian village where he was born.

Tornatore’s is the first Italian film to open the movie marathon on the Lido in two decades and will feature in the main competition for the coveted Golden Lion award, organizers said on Wednesday.

The film, with an ensemble cast of home-grown actors including Monica Bellucci, has an estimated budget of $30 million, making it the most costly Italian production in recent years.

Tornatore shot to fame with “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso,” which won the Oscar for best foreign film in 1990.

The Venice film festival this year runs September 2-12.

Editing by Paul Casciato

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