VENICE, Italy (AFP) - A jury led by acclaimed US director Darren Aronofsky will on Saturday award the Golden Lion to one of 23 films vying for the festivals top prize. The Silver Lion for best director, Volpi prizes for best actor and actress and a special jury prize were among the awards being debated ahead of the ceremony, which begins at 7:00pm (1700 GMT) at the Lidos Palazzo del Cinema. French-Polish director Roman Polanskis grotesque comedy of manners Carnage leads the pack for the Golden Lion according to an index of 21 European and North American media outlets by the festivals Variety magazine. The films tale about two sets of parents who meet up after their children fight sees electric performances from a-listers Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christopher Waltz, and also tops the popular vote online. Close behind comes George Clooneys political thriller The Ides of March, starring Ryan Gosling, Evan Rachel Wood and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Critics also favour the chances of William Friedkins dark comedy Killer Joe and Alexander Sokurovs Faust, as well as Andrea Arnolds enchanting adaptation of Wuthering Heights and Todd Solondzs satire, Dark Horse. There is an outside chance that one of the films most disparaged by critics - such as Wei Te-Shens warrior movie Seediq Bale or Cristina Comencinis cliched romance When The Night - could surprise by stealing the prize. Aronofsky is joined on the jury by the US director Todd Haynes, Finnish filmmaker Eija-Liisa Ahtila, British artist David Byrne, Italian filmmaker Mario Martone and actress Alba Rohrwacher, and French director Andre Techine. Tipped for best actor is German-born Irishman Fassbender, who plays an emotionally disfunctional executive addicted to sex in Shame and the psychoanalyst Carl Jung in David Cronenbergs A Dangerous Method. Best actress may well go to Winslet, who appears in three films screening at the festival: Polanskis Carnage, Steven Sodergerghs Contagion and Todd Haynes Mildred Pearce, an HBO mini-series showing out of competition. The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for Italian director Marco Bellocchio and the Glory to the Filmmaker award for Al Pacinos original mark on contemporary cinema were presented during the 11-day festival. The 68th edition of the oldest film festival in the world has been marked by star-studded premieres, exclusive beach parties and piquant oddities - from horses on the red carpet to the mysterious theft of Al Pacinos mozzarella. In all, 65 world premiere features from 35 countries were screened.