James Franco's career as a director has been given a big boost - his project Child Of God has been shortlisted for the coveted Golden Lion honour at the 2013 Venice Film Festival in Italy. The annual event will begin at the end of August (13) and Franco will be among the 20 competitors vying for the top prize. Child of God will go up against Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem, starring Matt Damon and Christoph Waltz, Stephen Frears' Philomena with Dame Judi Dench, and Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin, featuring Scarlett Johansson. Other films in competition include The Police Officer's Wife, Parkland, Jealousy, Stray Dogs and Gianfranco Rosi's Sacred GRA. Oscar-winning Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci will serve as the head of the Venice Film Festival jury, which will decide the winner of the Golden Lion, among other awards. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock's sci-fi movie Gravity will open the festival on 28 August (13), while Lindsay Lohan's erotic thriller The Canyons is also set to be screened during the 12-day event.