The Biennale has confirmed that Moritz de Hadeln will head next year's Venice International Film Festival - leaving open the possibility of the former Berlin chief retaining the position for an extra two years.

'We are currently re-thinking the position of the Mostra and its relationship to the film industry,' festival president Franco Bernabe said in a statement. 'The only certainty at the moment is that De Hadeln will be at the helm of the next festival and that he did a very good job at the last festival.'

'We are working on a strong and important project to support the Italian film industry,' he added.

The Biennale refused to elaborate on Bernabe's comments. However, festival organisers said the current state of affairs does not exclude De Hadeln staying on for an extra two years. 'I am sure De Hadeln and Bernabe have already reached an agreement,' one Biennale official said.

The terms of De Hadeln's contract could be revealed next month, after the Biennale board of directors' next official meeting.