08/09/2011 12:12 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Johnnie To's 'Life Without Principle' At Venice: Film Vies For Golden Lion

VENICE, Italy — The Venice Film Festival says Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To's "Life Without Principle" joins the 22 films vying for the coveted Golden Lion.

But the festival tantalized film lovers with the promise of yet another surprise movie – to be announced at a later time.

The festival last month announced the titles of 21 films in competition, promising to announce the first surprise film within weeks.

Director Marco Mueller has made surprise films a feature of the festival since he took over in 2004. Often their announcement is delayed until after the festival opens due to political sensitivity or production schedules.

This year's festival runs Aug. 31-Sept. 10.

To, a prolific director and producer of genre films, has reached both commercial success in Hong Kong and critical success abroad.

"Life Without Principle" is a heist film that follows the intertwining stories of three people, whose worlds collide when a loan shark gets assaulted after withdrawing $10 million from the bank.

WATCH the trailer for "Life Without Principle":