Canada returns to Official Competition of the Venice International Film
Festival after 22 years:

         Richard J. Lewis' Barney's Version in Official Competition;
               Nicolas Pereda's Summer of Goliath in Orizzonti

MONTREAL, July 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Telefilm Canada congratulates Canadian director Richard J. Lewis, producer Robert Lantos and the team behind the feature film Barney's Version, invited to screen in the Official Competition of the 67th Venice International Film Festival, taking place from September 1 to September 11, 2010. The 23 films accepted in the Official Competition, or Venezia 67, will compete for the Festival's prestigious Golden Lion for Best Film. This will mark the first time a Canadian director will be bowing in the Venice competition in 22 years.

"As the world's oldest film festival, the Venice International Film Festival has a distinct reputation on the international circuit." said Sheila de La Varende, Director, National and International Business Development at Telefilm Canada. "Barney's Version is a truly Canadian story from one of our best storytellers. We are thrilled to see this feature celebrate Canada's return to the Competition in Venice" she concluded.

Barney's Version, a coproduction between Canada' Serendipity Point Films and Italy's Fandango, was financed through Telefilm Canada's Feature Film Fund. Based on the eponymous Mordecai Richler comedic novel, Barney's Version is the picaresque and touching story of the politically incorrect, fully lived life of the impulsive, irascible and fearlessly blunt Barney Panofsky.

"Barney's Version is the type of film I have always loved most," said director Richard J. Lewis. "It is a 'story' in the truest sense of the word with a character at the apex that defies easy description. His is a flawed yet fully realized life, with all its joy and pain, messiness and truth."

"My films have been privileged with official selection in all the world's leading film festivals except for one. At long last, with the invitation of Barney's Version in the Venice Competition, this gap is no longer," said the film's producer Robert Lantos. "Because of the popularity of Mordecai Richler's novel in Italy, right from the project's inception some 12 years ago, the Lido has been my dream setting for its first unveiling. It's a case of answered prayers and I am deeply honoured," he concluded.

The film stars Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver, Rachelle Lefevre, Scott Speedman, and Bruce Greenwood.

The second Canadian feature to premiere at the Festival, Verano de Goliat (Summer of Goliath) from the 27-year old filmmaker Nicolas Pereda, will screen as part of Orizzonti, a competitive section dedicated to new trends in world cinema.

A Canada-Mexico-Netherlands co-venture produced by Enchinga Films (Toronto), the film was financed in Canada through the Canada Council of the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. Blending fiction and documentary, Summer of Goliath portrays people suffering the effects of the loss of loved ones, broken promises, disconnection and eternal longing.

"It's exciting to premiere at Venice," said director Nicolas Pereda. "It will give the film incredible exposure within the industry and help it have a long life."

Earlier this week film titles screening at Venice Days, a parallel section of the Festival, were announced including the Canada-France coproduction Incendies from Canadian director Denis Villeneuve.

The 67th Venice International Film Festival's complete line-up was unveiled earlier today at a press conference in Rome, Italy.

About Telefilm Canada

Telefilm Canada is a federal cultural agency dedicated to developing and promoting the Canadian audiovisual industry. Telefilm provides financial support to the private sector to create distinctively Canadian products that appeal to domestic and international audiences. Telefilm also administers the Canada Media Fund. Visit

SOURCE Telefilm Canada

For further information: For further information: Denise Arab, Director, Communications, Telefilm Canada, 514-283-0838, ext. 2099,;

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