The Venice Film Festival's Horizons side bar dedicated to new trends in filmmaking has announced its opening and closing film in both the feature and documentary categories.
Sad Vacation by Aoyama Shinji starring Japanese super star Tadanobu Asano will be Horizons' opening film.
Sad Vacation is the story of a boy who lost both parents but meets his long lost mother - giving him the chance to reconcile his past. Last year, Shinji presented Crickets in the Horizons sidebar and his 2000 film Eureka took the FIPRESCI prize at Cannes after being screened in competition.
Horizons' closing film will be the Medee Miracle by Tonino de Bernardi - produced by French actress Isabelle Huppert who also stars. Huppet has taken the best actress award at Venice twice (in 1998 and 1995) and won a Special Lion for extraordinary contribution to cinema at the 62nd edition of the festival.
Medee Miracle is inspired by the Greek myth Medea in which a mother kills her own children but De Bernardi's version takes on a suburb locale and a Medea (Huppert) who is incapable of killing her own kids.
Both films are being classified as world previews.
Closing the Horizons documentary section will be the Philippine entry Death in the Land of Encantos (Kagadanan sa banwaan ning mga engkanto) by Lav Diaz. The doc, a world premiere, explores the effects of Typhoon Reming that hit the Philippines in 2006. The biennale calls Diaz one of the most astonishing new South East Asian authors.
As previously announced, two-time Horizons entrant Greg Araki will preside over the jury. He will be flanked by American film-maker Frederick Wiseman, Syrian director/producer Hala Alabdalla Yakoub, Italian photographer, musician and film-maker Giorgia Fiorio as well as German critic, festival director and Forum founder Ulrich Gregor.
The jury will assign the Horizons Award and the Horizons Doc Award to two feature length films selected for the section.
Horizons is in its fourth edition at this year's Venice Film Festival which runs Aug29-Sept 8.