There's more than just a tantalizing list of films brewing for this year's Venice Film Festival. They've finally succumbed to their inner pun and created a new award, which has been 4 years in the making. After a lot of negotiating, Venice 2007 will offer the first Queer Lion award. This will go to the best full-length film, selected by a small, international jury, that features either a gay character or theme. And just what will this gay lion look like? I'm sure you can imagine. The lucky winner will get a gold plaque with the Venice Lion's winged logo, with, of course, the rainbow coloring on the wings to symbolize gay pride. Lions AND pride, it goes so well together that I can't believe it has taken this long. Gotta love a good pun.

Competition director Daniel Casagrande says: "We aren't looking for the next Brokeback Mountain. We are just looking for films that accurately portray gay characters or themes." He expects that 10-12 films will be candidates for the award in this first year, a prize which is eligible to any main competition contender. This isn't the first film fest to create such an award. Berlin has had a Teddy Award for over two decades. Well, Germany was way ahead of the times, but Venice has trumped with a better name. Who wants a teddy? It just brings to mind fat presidents and women's lingerie -- not a pair I think any of us want to think of at the same time.