The 66th Venice Film Festival will open with Baaria, the new film from Oscar-winning director Giuseppe Tornatore, it will also be in competition.

The $30 million budget film, which is one of the most expensive films made in Italy in recent years stars Francesco Scianna and newcomer Margaret Made in the lead roles, alongside a cast of 200 Italian actors including Monica Bellucci, Raoul Bova and Michele Placido.

The director, who won the Best Foreign Film Oscar for Cinema Paradiso in 1990, has said the film is not autobiographical but he describes it as his “most personal” to date.

Plot details are sketchy but it is understood the epic will draw on humour and will span three generations in Sicily. The film is set in the Sicilian film-maker’s home town of Bagheria, which in Sicilian dialect is pronounced Baaria.

He is making two versions of the film – one in local dialect for Sicilian and international distribution and an Italian version for the rest of Italy. It was partly shot in Tunisia.

Baaria is produced and will be distributed by Medusa film with an Italian release date set for September 25. Summit Entertainment holds international rights.

The Venice Film Festival runs from September 2 to September 12 and the official Venice line-up is expected to be announced on July 30 in Rome.