Robert Altman's Dr T And The Women and Julian Schnabel's Before Night Falls are the only US titles in competition at the 57th edition of the Venice Film Festival, which, like this year's Cannes, is dominated by European and Asian titles.

Asian titles among the 19 competition entrants include Hong Kong director Fruit Chan's Durian, Durian, Indian director Buddhadeb Dasgupta's Uttara and South Korean title The Isle, directed by Ki-duk Kin. The Middle East is represented by Iran's The Circle directed by Jafar Panahi.

Four Italian titles feature in competition with a fifth to be announced next week. "This does not mean that the Italian cinema has been completely revived, but that it's well on its way to a much healthier future," said festival director Alberto Barbera. The Italian entries include Denti, directed by Oscar-winner Gabriele Salvatores, who is making his first appearance in competition at Venice this year.

France is represented by Xavier Beauvois' Selon Mattieu and Raoul Ruiz' Fils De Deux Meres Ou Comedie De L'Innocence along with co-productions such as Barbet Schroeder's French-Colombian La Vierge Des Tueurs and Sharunas Bartas' Freedom, co-produced by France, Portugal and Lithuania. French director Tony Gatlif's Vengo closes the event.

The competition line-up also includes two UK titles - Stephen Frears' Liam and Sally Potter's The Man Who Cried, a co-production with France.

The festival will open on August 30 with the European premiere of Clint Eastwood's Space Cowboys. Eastwood is the subject of a retrospective at the festival and will be presented with a Golden Lion lifetime achievement award on the opening night.

Out of competition titles include Small Time Crooks by Venice staple Woody Allen; Cluade Chabrol's Merci Pour Le Chocolat; Martin Scorsese's four-hour personal tribute to Italian cinema, Il Dolce Cinema; and the first of a three-part film by Gus Vant Sant, Harmony Korine and Chloe Sevigny entitled Jokes: Chapter 1.

In his second year as director of the festival, Barbera found the quality of the nearly 1,000 films screened and those eventually chosen to be "significantly higher" than last year's entries. But he complained that the extension of Italy's distribution season is restricting the festival's ability to include blockbuster, or "event", films in its line-up.

"In the past, films such as X-Men, Mission: Impossible 2 or The Patriot would have automatically made their European premieres at Venice, and then gone on to be distributed in Europe in the fall," said Barbera. "But now the majors are releasing them in the middle of the summer."

However, the Lido will not be lacking in celebrities this year with Eastwood, Johnny Depp and Richard Gere all scheduled to attend. The guest list also includes Isabelle Huppert, Daniel Auteuil, Jennifer Lopez, Harrison Ford, Hugh Grant, Franka Potente, Cate Blanchett, and John Turturro.

The full line-up for the 57th Venice Film Festival:

Opening film:
Space Cowboys
Dir: Clint Eastwood, US

Closing film:
Dir: Tony Gatlif, France-Spain

In competition:

Dr. T And The Women
Dir: Robert Altman, US

Dir: Sharunas Bartas, France-Portugal-Lithuania

Selon Matthieu
Dir: Xavier Beauvois, France

Durian Durian (Liulian Piao Piao)
Dir: Fruit Chan, Hong Kong-China-France

Il Partigiano Johnny
Dir: Guido Chiesa, Italy

The Wrestlers (Uttara)
Dir: Buddhadeb Dasgupta, India

Dir: Stephen Frears, UK

I Cento Passi
Dir: Marco Tullio, Italy

The Isle (Seom)
Dir: Ki-duk Kin, South Korea

The Goddess Of 1967
Dir: Clara Law, Australia

La Lingua Del Santo
Dir: Carlo Mazzacurati, Italy

Palavra E Utopia
Dir: Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal-France-Brazil-Spain

The Circle (Dayereh)
Dir: Jafar Panahi, Iran

The Man Who Cried
Dir: Sally Potter, UK-France

O Fantasma
Dir: Joao Pedro Rodrigues, Portugal

Fils De Deux Meres Ou Comedie De L'Innocence
Dir: Raoul Ruiz, France

Dir: Gabriele Salvatores, Italy

Before Night Falls
Dir: Julian Schnabel, US

La Vierge Des Tueurs
Dir: Barbet Schroeder, France-Colombia

Out of competition:

Small Time Crooks
Dir: Woody Allen, US

Merci Pour Le Chocolat
Dir: Claude Chabrol, France

Dir: Takeshi Kitano, Japan-US-UK

Il Dolce Cinema
Dir: Martin Scorsese, Italy-US

Calle 54
Dir: Fernando Trueba, France-Spain

Jokes: Chapter 1 "Easter" (work in progress)
Dir: Gus van Sant, US

The Jury:

President - Milos Forman (director)
Tahar Ben Jelloun (writer)
Giuseppe Bertolucci (director)
Claude Chabrol (director)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (actress)
Andreas Kilb (critic)
Samira Makhmalbaf (director)

"Dreams and Visions" sidebar:

Time and Tide
Dir: Tsui Hark, Hong Kong-China

Dir: Benoit Jacquot, France

Dir: Jonathan Mostow, US

Plata Quemada
Dir: Marcelo Pineyro, Argentina-Spain-Uruguay-France

The Cell
Dir: Tarsem, US

Sud Side Stori
Dir: Roberta Torre, Italy

The Princess And The Warrior
Dir: Tom Tykwer, Germany

What Lies Beneath
Dir: Robert Zemeckis, US

"Cinema del presente" sidebar:

Esperando Al Mesias
Dir: Daniel Burman, Argentina

Everybody Famous! (Iedereen Beroemd!)
Dir: Dominique Deruddere, Belgium

Dir: Philippe Faucon, France

Estate Romana
Dir: Matteo Garrone, Italy

La Ville Est Tranquille
Dir: Robert Guediguian, France

Dir: Ed Harris, US

My Generation, Documentario
Dir: Barbara Kopple, US

Possible Worlds
Dir: Robert Lepage, Canada

Adanggaman, Costa D'Avorio
Dir: Roger Gnoan M'bala

Series 7 - The Contenders
Dir: Dan Minahan, US

Together (Tillsammans)
Dir: Lukas Moodysson, Sweden-Denmark-Italy

Prime Gig
Dir: Gregory Mosher, US

Dir: Christopher Nolan, UK-US

The Last Resort
Dir: Paul Pawlikowski, Russia-UK

Die Innere Sicherheit
Dir: Christian Petzold, Germany

Thomas In Love
Dir: Pierre Paul Renders, Belgium-France

Animali Che Attraversano La Strada
Dir: Isabella Sandri, Italy

Placido Rizzotto
Dir: Pasquale Scimeca, Italy

Suspicious River
Dir: Lynne Stopkewich, Canada

Dir: Jan Svankmajer, Czech Republic-UK-Japan

Dir: Alexander Zeldovich, Russia

Tribute to Clint Eastwood:

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1966)
Dir: Sergio Leone, Italy

The Beguiled (1971)
Dir: Don Siegel, US

Play Misty For Me (1971)
Dir: Clint Eastwood, US

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
Dir: Cli