In other Venice news, jurors across sections will include Raja Amari, Lav Diaz and Stanley Kwan.
After taking home the Golden Lion at the 65th edition of the Venice Film Festival with the physical and psychological impacting The Wrestler, director Darren Aronofsky will be back in Venice as his Black Swan opens the upcoming 67th edition of the festival, in competition, the Biennale announced today.
The film is a psychological thriller set in the New York ballet world featuring Natalie Portman as a ballerina whose on stage performance of a duplicitous character leads her througn a terrifying journey off stage as she competes with a rival dancer (Mila Kunis).
Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey and Winona Ryder also star.
Produced by Protoza Pictures and Phoenix Pictures, the film is brought to the Lido via Fox Searchlight in association with Cross Creek Pictures while Mark Heyman, Andres Heinz and John McLaughlin provided the script.
“The cast and crew of Black Swan are both excited and humbled by the festival’s invitation. It is an honour to walk the great red carpet on the Lido and we are excited to premier our film to the wonderful audiences in Venice,” Aronofsky said.
It’s Aronofsky’s third time to Venice’s competition. While The Wrestler re-booted lead Mickey Rourke’s career as well as winning the festival’s top prize, the director’s 2006 submission The Fountain, a fantastical look at death and dying, revealed the director’s originality, but failed to please the majority of critics.
In other Venice announcements, juries have been completed for three official sections.
The Horizons (Orizzonti) jury will include Tunisian director and scriptwriter Raja Amari whose Buried Secrets was in the section last year; South-East Asia’s two-time Horizons prize winner Lav Diaz (Death In The Land Of Encantos and Melancholia ), Austrian film critic Alexander Horwath; and Italian director Pietro Marcello who presented the doc Il Pasaggio Della Linea last year. As previously reported, last year’s Silver Lion winner Shirin Neshat (Women Without Men) will preside.
The jury of the Luigi De Laurentiis Venice Award for a Debut Film which comes with a $100,000 prize from Filmauro that will judge the best first feature across the sections and the two official side bars Venice Days and Critics’ Week. The jury president Fatih Akin, 2009’s Special Jury prize winner for Soul Kitchen, will be accompanied by Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan, 2009 Venice Golden Lion Winner Samuel Maoz (Lebanon), Italian actress Jasmine Trinca and indie producer and distributor Nina Lath Gupta.
Controcampo Italiano, the section dedicated to new Italian films will have a jury composed of Valerio Mastrandrea (president) along with last year’s winner in the section Susanna Nicchiarelli and journalist Dario Edoardo Vigano.
The section will open with Roberta Torre’s Baci Mai Dati.
Finally, in a year in which Venice celebrates Italian comedy with a retrospective dedicated to the genre, Venice has announced an homage to actor Vittorio Gassman on the tenth anniversary of his death with a world premiere screening of the restoration of Dino Risi’s Scent Of A Woman in Venice’s Campo San Polo on Aug 31. On Sept 1, Gassman’s birthday, the festival will screen a new featurelength doc with never before seen sequences of the actor’s life entitled Vittorio Racconta Gassman, Una Vita Da Mattatore in the Sala Perla.