After weeks of political infighting, Marco Mueller has finally been appointed as the artistic director of the Rome Film Festival.
Marco Mueller has officially been given the reins of the Rome Film Festival.
His confirmation as artistic director was made formal in a vote today in the Italian capital, putting an end to almost three months of political upheaval and providing Mueller and newly appointed Rome Cinema Foundation president Paolo Ferrari with plenty to sink their teeth into.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Mueller said. I am coming back to my hometown after 22 years to work on an exciting new project: the next phase of development, after the results of the first six years of work of a festival that wants to better cater to the needs of those who make movies, those who show them and those who go to see them.”
The duo now have just shy of seven months to re-boot the event which saw the 7th edition stalled until an agreement could be brokered amongst the various sides. It took Rome’s previous president Gian Luigi Rondi’s resignation to move forward the naming of a new president and artistic director. Rondi had worked alongside Piera Detassis, Rome’s outgoing artistic director and he continued to support her until he eventually agreed to relinquish his mandate.
With all that behind them, Ferrari told Italian press: “Now it’s time to stop talking, roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
Little is known about the new festival – its composition, its name or for that matter the dates. Mueller is said to be pushing for a late November slot – but with the overlap with the Turin Film Festival inevitable, which runs in late November, Rome’s Mayor Gianni Alemanno stepped in to say the announced dates Oct 18-26 will keep.
Also to be determined is the fate of the Rome Market, known as The Business Street and the New Cinema Network co production event. Both are successful industry initiatives (which are in need of a director as well) after Roberto Cicutto announced he wouldn’t return for another edition at the close of the last edition due to his duties as CEO of Cinecitta Luce.
Mueller had been ousted from the Venice Film Festival last December after an eight-year run, most likely over disagreements with Biennale President Paolo Baratta in resolving infrastructure issues.
During those years, Mueller had the time to strengthen his already good ties with the international industry, a point that will greatly be in his favour as he carves out a new festival that runs less than two months after Venice.
Paolo Ferrari, as ex president both of Warner Bros. Italy and of Anica, Italy’s motion picture organization, too, has a deep reach into the international industry. On Friday he praised Mueller as “an extraordinary professional.”
While it is yet to be seen how Rome and Venice will work around each other, Rome’s Mayor today called Mueller’s appointment “a new cycle” for the Rome festival and added he hopes the nomination “puts an end to polemics.”