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Venice Film Festival 2013 to be opened by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney’s Gravity

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Sci-fi film Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, is to open the 2013 Venice Film Festival in August.

The 3D movie, directed by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, sees George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts on an ill-fated mission.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Y tu mama tambien won two awards at the festival in 2001 – best scenario and best young male talent for actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.

The gala on the Venice Lido runs from 28 August to 7 September.

Sci-fi film Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, is to open the 2013 Venice Film Festival in August

Sci-fi film Gravity, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, is to open the 2013 Venice Film Festival in August

Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci – whose debut film, The Grim Reaper, showed at the festival in 1962 – will lead the jury for this year’s Golden Lion for best film.

US director William Friedkin, best known for his films The French Connection and The Exorcist, will also receive a lifetime achievement award.

He described the festival as his “spiritual home”, adding he would accept the honorary prize “with gratitude and love”.

Alfonso Cuaron’s film features George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts attempting to return to Earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in orbit.

The rest of the festival line-up is yet to be announced, but films being tipped to be screened include Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien and Twelve Years a Slave, the latest film from British director Steve McQueen starring Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender.

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