Italian director Nanni Moretti has been named artistic director of the Turin Film Festival, the Italian festival dedicated to cutting edge film. The announcement confirms 2007 will be an interesting year for Italian festivals after the appearance of the Rome Film Festival altered the established balance between the Turin and Venice festivals on the fall festival calendar.

Themove to put Moretti - one of Italy's most prized directors - at the helm of the25-year-old festival has a clear motivation: 'The nomination of Morettipositions the Festival of Turin on the same level as that of Venice and Romeand this is an important point of departure, for this we are grateful toMoretti to have accepted the challenge,'

President of Turin's National Museum of Cinema Sandro Cosazza said. Cosazza, together with Paolo Barbera (the museum's director) and local, regional and provincial culture councilmen make up the nomination committee.

Detailsregarding the Turin 2007 are expected at the end of January, including artistic changes, the length of Moretti's mandate and who will be on his team. The Turin Festival is also yet to officially announce the dateof their next edition.

Aftera meeting between Italy's culture minister Francesco Rutelli and Presidents ofVenice, Rome and Turin to straighten out the 'date issue' reports circulatedthat put the Turin Festival at a late, rather than a mid-November slot.

Moretti,who was not present at Wednesday's press conference released this statement:'I accepted the proposal of the Museum of Cinema in the hope ofcontributing to the reinforcement of the (Festival), starting with there-launch of its identity and the renovation of its formula, with the intentionto make it more efficient in respect to the changes in the cinema industry andin the festival panorama.'

Morettifurther expressed a wish to share this cause with Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan andRoberto Turigliatto, who have just concluded their four-yearco-directorship.

NanniMoretti (who is normally reserved and public shy) has long held an importantrole in European cinema. His most recent picture Il Camiano (The Caiman) won sixDavid of Donatello awards (Italy's highest film honor) this year including bestdirector, picture and producer. The film - which also went to Cannes -was largely seen as a jab at ex Italian Premier and media mogul SilvioBerlusconi and raised controversy when released on the eve of nationalelections. His 2001 Son's Roomwon the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film that year. Moretti also has his ownRome-based production and distribution company, Sacher Films.