Venice, August 29 - Emma Dante's directing debut 'Via Castellana Bandiera', the first Italian film in the running for the coveted Golden Lion award, met with applause at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday. The Sicilian director's minimalist drama is about a fierce showdown between two women who refuse to give way when their cars confront each other on a small street in Palermo. One driver is the elderly, stubborn Samira, who is transporting her large family. In the other car is a couple, Rosa and Clara. The confrontation lasts more than a day, while neighborhood residents start making bets on who will prevail. Dante said after the screening the face-off was in part a homage to Sergio Leone's iconic westerns, and the film was "monstrously true"