Rome's Cinema Foundation president Goffredo Bettini has resigned from his role presiding over the Rome Film Fest, which will be ushering in its third edition Oct 21-31.
In a wave of shake-ups that are effecting the culture sector here after Silvio Berlusconi's right wing government took over from Romani Prodi's left wing government in April - Bettini's exit is seen as a compromise to placate Gianni Alemanno - the new right wing Mayor of Rome who attacked the fest while on the campaign trail.
'My only worry has been to save the Cinema Fest,' Bettini said in his resignation letter, 'to which I have dedicated three beautiful years of work, and it is for this reason that I am willing to leave the role of President, in order to clear the area of political manipulations.'
Bettini is a member of Italy's opposition Democratic Party and a close ally of the former Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni.
In turn, the Alemanno issued a statement assuring that the City of Rome would continue to support the Fest.
The Fest was the creation of Rome's previous film buff mayor Walter Veltroni, himself an author who counts George Clooney and Tom Cruise as 'friends,' and who was largely credited with helping attract Hollywood talent to Rome.
An announcement for Bettini's replacement is pending, and as the five artistic directors positions have not been object of discussion, the Fest may continue in its usual vein next October.
Rome's budget of $25m (Euros 17m) is 70% sponsor driven. However, $7.7m (Euros 5 mil) comes from these public institutions: the region of Lazio, the Province of Rome, the City of Rome, the Chamber of Commerce and the Foundation of Music for Rome - each group gives about $1.5m (Euros 1m) to the Rome Fest'soverall budget.