Just after Venice's 64th official line up has been announced, Marco Mueller, in his fourth year as artistic director, says his programme is 'a balanced edition where you can find the seeds of what is coming next in world cinema.'

Mueller can be proud that 90 percent of films in this year's official selection are world premieres.

While Mueller continues to put a personal and prestigious tag on the event the question on everyone's mind is not if he can do the job but what will happen after his four-year mandate is completed with the upcoming edition'

Mueller has said in the past, and reiterated last week, that he would leave the festival unless a new Palazzo del Cinema (Cinema Palace) was built.

So when Italy's culture minister Francesco Rutelli recently signed a protocol greenlighting funds destined for the Lido's new palazzo - naturally it peaked everyone's curiosity regarding Mueller's future.

While the $120m palazzo project is destined, in part, to act as a festival market and year-round convention center the more pressing issue seems to be updating the Lido's sagging infrastructure across the board.

As far as screenings go, Mueller says the Horizon selection screenings are the most affected: 'We have to play the documentaries at 11 in the morning and the features at 2 in the afternoon because the only theatres we could give to Critics Week and Venice Days is the Perla (cinema) so we have no more theatres left.'

Screenings in Horizons, for the most part, are crammed together with competition and gala titles at the PalaBiennale and the Pala Lido cinemas. Official screenings are held in the current Palazzo (Sala Grande), which dates to 1938.

'After the end of the festival we will see if the new film palace is really going to be built,' he tells ScreenDaily.com. 'If that happens, there is a lot that can be discussed but only after the festival is over and a date will be set for the beginning of construction work.'

Signs at least point to Mueller possibly staying on, even if he won't say so himself. After the line-up press conference Culture Minster Rutelli issued a statement about Mueller's line up underlining a 'strong appreciation in the name of the Ministry and the Government.'