Glamour and politics on the menu for 74th Venice Film Festival

VENICE, ITALY (AUGUST 28, 2013) (REUTERS) – The 74th edition of the world’s oldest film festival will offer a “very exciting” mix of glamour and politics, the event’s artistic director Alberto Barbera said on Tuesday (August 29).

The festival venue on the Venice Lido was a scurry of activity on the eve of the event’s opening day with workers yet to lay out the red carpet outside the Palazzo del Cinema.

Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing”, a satire about a couple who decide to shrink themselves to four inches tall, starring Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz will open the festival on Wednesday (August 30) evening.

The film will compete for the Golden Lion against 20 other movies including Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” and the unexpected addition of Darren Aranofsky’s “Mother!”, a horror starring Jennifer Lawrence.

George Clooney returns to the Venice waterfront with “Suburbicon”, a dark comedy which he directed. The film stars Damon and Julianne Moore.

Another highly-anticipated entry is “Human Flow”, a documentary about the global refugee crisis by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

Moviemakers will be hoping for a replay of the success of films such as “Spotlight”, “La La Land”, “Gravity” and “Birdman” which went from Venice launches to Academy Awards success.

Security measures have been stepped up on the Venice Lido ahead of the festival which runs from Aug. 30 until Sept. 9.