The world premiere of Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu's "Birdman Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance" will open The 71st Venice Film Festival. Starring Michael Keaton in a cast that includes Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts, the black comedy tracks a middle aged actor (Keaton) at a career crossroads who stages an adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story. Reports suggest that the film is structured in real time, with the director shooting in a series of long takes.
Iñárritu wrote the screenplay with Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armando Bo.
Following the opening ceremony hosted by Luisa Ranieri, "Birdman" will screen in competition on August 27 in the Sala Grande of the Palazzo del Cinema at the Lido. Fox Searchlight will release the film in North America on October 17.
The 71st Venice Film Festival runs from August 27-September 6. The French composer Alexandre Desplat will serve as this year's jury president.