Giuseppe Rocca's Lontano In Fondo Agli Occhi, a bittersweet love story set in the 1950s, is the only Italian film selected for the Critics' Week competition at this year's Venice Film Festival.

The line-up, selected by a panel of six Italian critics, also includes Noites, directed by Portugal's Claudia Tomaz; Franco-Tunisian production La Faute A Voltaire, directed by Abdel Kechiche; The Day I Became A Woman by Iranian director Marziyeh Meshkini (wife of Mohsen Makhmalbaf and stepmother of Samira); Felicidades by Argentina's Lucho Bender of Argentina; Scout Man by Japanese director Masato Ishioka; and US entry You Can Count On Me by Kenneth Lonergan.

You Can Count On Me, produced by Martin Scorsese, is the only film in the section to have already secured Italian distribution, through independent distributor Key Films.

In addition, the Cult Network Italia (CNI), which is the sponsor of the Critics Week competition, will award a $10,000 prize to one of the section's films. The CNI jury comprises Italian director Marco Bellocchi, German critic Klaus Eder and French actress Nathalie Richard.

This year, the critics association has also created an internet site, CineCriticWeb - - where it will post all interviews with Critics Week filmmakers during the festival.

The Critics Week, which operates autonomously from the festival organisation, runs from September 1 to 7.