Gabriele Roethemeyer, chief executive of Baden-Wuerttemberg's regional fund Medien- und Filmgesellschaft (MFG ), has been appointed artistic director for the Film- und Medienfestival GmbH (FMF) which organises the Stuttgart Ludwigsburg European Filmfest (July 10-15), European Short Film (September 10-15), the Stuttgart Internatonal Festival of Animated Film, and the fmx conference for digital media production.

Roethemeyer has been serving as an interim successor to the previous artistic director Albrecht Ade since the beginning of April with a contract lasting until the end of the year. This contract has now been extended until autumn 2005.

Commenting on Roethemeyer being made artistic director, the FMF's supervisory board chairman Arthur Hofer said that the appointments committee had had several excellent candidates to choose from, but had decided unanimously for Roethemeyer because she 'offers the best personal and professional prerequisites for this post. Moreover, she has outstanding connections to filmmakers in the whole of Europe.'

Meanwhile, the FMF has announced that veteran Italian star Claudia Cardinale will receive the LBBW European Actors Award during this year's Stuttgart Ludwigsburg European Filmfest in recognition of her 'extraordinary achievements for European cinema.'.

Endowed with a purse of Euros 10,000, the Award will be presented to Cardinale during a gala screening of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo - which she personally selected for the occasion.