- Associated Press - Thursday, July 26, 2012

MILAN (AP) - Americans Brian De Palma and Terrence Malick are among 17 directors competing for the top prize at this year’s Venice Film Festival, a lean selection compared with recent editions.

Film festival director Alberto Barbera announced the official selection of films that will compete for the coveted Golden Lion during the 69th edition running from Aug. 29 to Sept. 8.

Both De Palma’s sexy thriller `’Passion” and Malick’s romantic film `’To The Wonder” star actress Rachel McAdams. It is De Palma’s first feature film since `’Redacted,” which won Venice’s award for best direction in 2007.

Four U.S. directors are vying for the top prize, along with three Italians. Otherwise, the broad field includes films from France, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.

Recent editions have seen more than 20 films in competition.