In other festival news, Luigi De Laurentiis award jury to include Frank Roos, Aleksei Fedorchenko, Charles Tesson, Serra Yilmaz and Carlo Mazzacurati.

The Venice film festival has announced screenwriter Francesco Bruni’s Scialla! a title which means “chill” in Roman slang will open the festival’s Controcampo Italiano section that is dedicated to new trends in Italian cinema. Bruni’s directorial debut will certainly attract the industry here: his last job was writing the screenplay for Italy’s Oscar contender The First Beautiful Thing, directed by Paolo Virzi.

The film is a father – son tale focusing on a fatherless youth and a childless professor set in Rome. The picture stars strong local actors Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Barbara Bublova and emerging actor Vincio Marchioni, touted by the local industry and slated as one of the top emerging actors local in Screen’s Italy Territory Report in April. Rome-based Cattleya’s Francesca Longardi described Marchioni as “a powerful actor with a strong theatre background, a real discovery.”

Scialla! Is produced by IBC Movie with Rai Cinema.

Actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta will also present her short Il Maestro, which will open the section’s short competition is inspired by her own grandfather and features Il Postino actor Roberto Scarpa.

Director Roberta Torre, as previously announced, will preside over the jury. Actress Cristina Capotondi and last year’s Controcampo Italiano winner, director Aurelio Amadei (20 Sigarette) will round out the jury for the section. 

In other jury news, the Biennale recently announced the entire jury for the Luigi De Laurentiis award. Frank Roos – long time collaborator of the Coppola’s (Francis Ford and daughter Sofia), Russian director Aleksei Fedorchenko, who was in last year’s competition with Silent Souls, French critic Charles Tesson, and Turkish actress Serra Yilmaz. They will join Carlo Mazzacurati, who heads that jury, as previously announced. The award comes with $100,000 in prize money to be split equally between director and producer to the best debut across sections, including the independently run Venice Days and Critic’s Week.

Separately, the Biennale has announced this year’s retrospective within the Orizzonti section will be dedicated to Italian experimental cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. The retrospective includes experimental works such as L’Accademia Musicale Chigiana a short directed by Vittorio Vassarotti and Franco Mannini, with sets and costumes by Franco Zeffirelli; Anna by Alberto Grifi, as well as works by Carmelo Bene, Mario Carbone and others.

The Venice Film Festival runs Aug 31-Sept 10. The full line up will be announced July 28.