Venice Film Fest 2007: Critics Week Selection

July 23, 2007–John August's debut “The Nines” is among seven first works that will bow in competition at the upcoming Venice Film Festival's Critics' Week.

A philosophical consideration of the mysterious connections between the lives of a troubled actor, a television showrunner and videogame designer, pic toplines Ryan Reynolds and Hope Davis in three interlocking tales.

First feature by August, whose previous writing credits include “Go” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the film mixes fantasy and reality. It premiered at Sundance where North American rights to “The Nines” got snapped up by Newmarket, for theatrical, and Sony for homevid and TV.

Other Venice Critics' Week entries include French ensemble drama “24 Measures,” by Jalil Lespert; “Karoy,” a tragicomedy set in dusty Kazakh villages, by Kazakhstan's Zhanna Issabayeva; “Otryv,” a Russian drama centered around a plane crash, by Alexander Mindadze, and “La ragazza del lago,” a thriller by Italy's Andrea Molaioli, who is a former assistant to Nanni Moretti.

Rounding out the selection are Belgian road movie “Small Gods,” by Dimitri Karakatsanis; “The Most Distant Course” by Taiwanese newcomer Lin Jing-jie, which recently opened the Taipei Film Festival, and “Year of the Nail,” the first feature by Jonas Cuaron, Alfonso's son.

Filmed as a series of stills, “Year of the Nail” follows a sex-obsessed 14-year-old Mexican boy's attempt to romance a 21-year-old American girl named Molly, who is on holiday in Mexico. The movie, which preemed at the Guadalajara Film Festival, is screening at the Lido as a special event.

The Venice Critics' Week, which is separately run by Italy's film critics union, SNCCI, will run August 30-Sept. 8.

Entries in the section will vie for the Critics' Week nod and also for the Lido's Lion of the Future for debut director.

The Venice fest runs August 29-Sept. 8