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George Clooney's "Ides of March" to open Venice Film Festival

George Clooney attends an awards dinner on November, 2010 in New York. Getty

(CBS/AP) George Clooney's political thriller "Ides of March" will make its debut on the opening night of this year's 68th Venice Film Festival.

Notable directors Roman Polanski and David Cronenberg will complete alongside five American directors, including Clooney and Abel Ferrara, at the annual event.

Pictures: George Clooney
Pictures: Roman Polanski
Pictures: Venice Film Festival 2010

Organizers said Thursday that all 22 movies competing for the top award, the Golden Lion, are world premieres.

Clooney fully submerged himself in "Ides of March," as he wrote, directed, and stars in his film alongside stars Ryan Gosling and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Madonna and actor Al Pacino will screen their own directed feature films during the Aug. 31-Sept. 10 festival, however separate from the competition. Also not participating in the fight for the Golden Lion is Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion," a virus thriller with an all-star cast that includes Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Pictures: Madonna
Pictures: Al Pacino

Todd Solondz of "Happiness" fame; William Friedkin, the veteran director whose credits include "The Exorcist"; and Ami Canaan Mann are the other American directors in competition.

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