EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominee and two-time Cannes Palme d’Or winner Emir Kusturica will world premiere his latest film, On The Milky Road, in competition at the Venice Film Festival on September 9. Today, we have a first-look at the drama about a passionate, forbidden love set during wartime. Kusturica is seen frolicking in the clip above with Monica Bellucci in what appears to be an idyllic setting, until…

The story centers on a milkman who each day crosses the front line on a donkey, dodging bullets to bring his precious wares to the soldiers. Blessed with good fortune on his mission and loved by a beautiful villager, a peaceful future seems to await him. Then, a mysterious Italian woman arrives to turns his life upside down.

Kusturica, who says the film is developed from many layers of his own life, describes it as a modern fairy tale in which he discovered “beauty, and intense, human worlds.”

On The Milky Road took three years to shoot and is the Underground, When Father Was Away On Business and Arizona Dream helmer’s first narrative feature since 2007’s Promise Me This.

There had been speculation it would travel to the Riviera last May — Kusturica is a Cannes habitué. When it didn’t turn up on the fest’s roster in April, the director rejected Russian press reports that Cannes refused it on political grounds. It simply wasn’t ready in time, he and the producers said.

On The Milky Road‘s trip to Venice follows Kusturica’s Lido appearances with such films as 1981’s debut Do You Remember Dolly Bell? (which scooped the Golden Lion for a first film) and 1998’s Black Cat, White Cat.

The film is produced by Paula Vaccaro, Emir Kusturica, Lucas Akoskin and Alex Garcia. Wild Bunch has international sales. ICM reps domestic.