Venice Film Festival starts on Aug. 27

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ROME -- This year's Venice Film Festival will tackle topics from the financial crisis to drone warfare and will feature performances from Willem Dafoe, Al Pacino and Ethan Hawke.

Organizers on Thursday announced a 20-strong competition lineup that includes Ramin Bahrani's subprime mortgage drama "99 Homes," with Andrew Garfield and Laura Dern, and Andrew Niccol's "The Good Kill," starring Hawke as a dissatisfied drone operator.

Other films competing for the Golden Lion include David Gordon Green's Texan drama "Manglehorn" starring Pacino and Holly Hunter; Abel Ferrara's "Pasolini," starring Dafoe as the taboo-breaking Italian filmmaker; and "The Cut" by Turkish-German director Fatih Akin.

The 71st Venice Film Festival opens Aug. 27 with the world premiere of Alejandro Inarritu's "Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance," starring Michael Keaton. The festival runs to Sept. 6.

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