VENICE (Reuters) - The film "Everest", based on the 1996 disaster in which eight people died in a blizzard on the world's highest mountain, will open the 72nd Venice Film Festival, organizers said on Thursday.
Jason Clarke, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Emily Watson and Jake Gyllenhaal star in the film by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur that will have its world premiere on the festival's opening day, Sept 2.
"'Everest' documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind," the festival said in a statement.
"Their mettle tested by the harshest elements found on the planet, the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival," it said.
Jon Krakauer, an American mountaineer, wrote a best-selling blow-by-blow account of the 1996 tragedy, "Into Thin Air", and features as a character in "Everest", played by Michael Kelly.
The film was shot on location in Nepal and in the Italian Alps. It will be released in the United States in IMAX theaters in 3D on Sept. 18 before wider release on Sept. 25.
(Reporting by Michael Roddy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)