The National Union of Italian Film Critics has revealed its picks for the Venice Critics’ Week section it organizes parallel to the Venice Film Festival. Seven debut features have been set this year in competition for the Audience Award. Each will also be eligible for the Lion of the Future Luigi De Laurentiis Award that’s handed out at the main prize ceremony and goes to a first film from across all sections. It comes with a $100K purse.

Eros

Opening the section out of competition this year is Indian fantasy pic Tumbbad from Eros International and directors Rahi Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad, while closing duties belong to Tunisian horror movie Dachra from Abdelhamid Bouchnak. Other highlights include Sudanese comedy A Kasha; Syrian war documentary Still Recording; Montenegro’s first entry You Have The Night; and experimental horror pic M, the debut by Finnish pop star Anna Eriksson that’s described as the most radical film in the selection.

Since its inception in 1984, Venice Critics’ Week has hosted the first features of such filmmakers as Olivier Assayas, Mike Leigh, Bryan Singer, Harmony Korine, Peter Mullan, Pablo Trapero, Abdellatif Kechiche and Kenneth Lonergan.

Below is this year’s lineup. The main Venice selection will be unveiled Wednesday July 25 and the festival runs August 29-September 8.

COMPETITION
A Kasha (The Roundup), dir: Hajooj Kuka (Sudan, South Africa, Qatar, Germany)
Adam Und Evelyn (Adam & Evelyn), dir: Andreas Goldstein (Germany)
Bêtes Blondes (Blonde Animals), dirs: Alexia Walther, Maxime Matray (France)
Lissa Ammetsajjel (Still Recording), dirs: Saaed Al Batal, Ghiath Ayoub (Syria, Lebanon, Qatar, France)
M, dir: Anna Eriksson (Finland)
Sarema Guivani E Bellissimi (We’ll Be Young And Beautiful), dir: Letizia Lamartire (Italy)
Ti Imas Noc (You Have The Night), dir: Ivan Salatic (Montenegro, Serbia, Qatar)

SPECIAL EVENTS
Tumbbad, dirs: Rahi Anil Barve, Adesh Prasad (India, Sweden) – Opening
Dachra, dir: Abdelhamid Bouchnak (Tunisia) – Closing

SIC@SIC (Short Italian Cinema @ Settimana Internazionale della Critica)
COMPETITION
Chronicles From Dust, dir: Luca Capponi
Epicentrum, dir: Leandro Picarella
Until The End, dir: Giovanni Dota
Frontiera, dir: Alessandro Di Gregorio
Gagarin, I Will Miss You, dir: Domenico De Orsi
Malo Tempo, dir: Tommaso Perfetti
Those Bad Things, dir: Loris Giuseppe Nese

SPECIAL EVENTS
Nobody’s Innocent, dir: Toni D’Angelo -Opening
Under Suspicion For A Crime Of Passion Aggravated By Triviality, dir: Cosimo Alemà – Closing
Sugar Love, dir: Laura Luchetti