While Americans were celebrating at barbeques over the long Labor Day weekend, the 69th annual Venice Film Festival was in full swing thanks to the world premieres of two challenging new works from a pair of major American directors: Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" - the latter of which Anderson recently acknowledged is at least partially based on the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, as had been widely speculated.

Elsewhere, the winner of YouTube's first-ever Your Film Festival was announced and honored by none other than "Prometheus" star Michael Fassbender, while acclaimed Danish director Susanne Bier's "Love Is All You Need" starring Pierce Brosnan made its debut. Click on the gallery below to check out all the star-studded photos.

The 2012 Venice Film Festival runs through September 8.

A former contributor to sites including MTV's The Backlot and Bloody-Disgusting, Chris Eggertsen worked in film development before indulging his love of pop culture writing full time. He specializes in horror, the intersection of social issues and entertainment and Howard Stern. He's on Twitter @HitFixChris.