Directors Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi are set to preside over the Queer Lion award jury panel at the Venice International Film Festival. Hofer and Ragazzi, whose documentary on gay marriage in Italy Suddenly Last Winter won a Panorama special mention at last year's Berlin Film Festival, will have their fill screening the record fourteen films in competition this year.

Fashion designer turned film director Tom Ford will premiere A Single Man, the big screen adaption of Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel of the same name, starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore and Matthew Goode.

Isherwood's novel centers on college professor George (played by Firth) as he struggles on after the sudden loss of his partner, Jim (played by Goode). George is the ultimate outsider in 1960s Los Angeles: middle-aged, gay and British.

“The story is a romantic tale of love interrupted, the isolation that is an inherent part of the human condition, and ultimately the importance of the seemingly smaller moments in life,” Fade to Black, Ford's production company, said in a statement.

The Queer Lion prize recognizes gay-themed films officially screening at the Venice Film Festival or one of its sidebars. A Single Man is the only Queer Lion candidate also in competition for the festival's main prize, the Golden Lion, and will premiere on Friday, September 11.

Other films in competition for the 3rd annual prize include Claudio Noce's Good Morning Aman, a film about a man who strikes up a friendship with a former boxer in Rome, Luca Guadagnino's Lo Sono L'Amore (I Am Love), a drama set in Milan at the turn of the millennium starring Tilda Swinton, and Stefano Consiglio's L'Amore E Basta (Love Is Enough), a film about nine gay and lesbian couples.

Also involved in judging the films will be journalist Mark Smith, film critic Roberto Schinardi and director Peter Marcias.

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