The founding partners of Rome’s Cinema Foundation voted on Monday (Mar 5) four to one in favour of Ferrari, ending a fierce political struggle that waged for two months.

The vote is the last in a series of moves required to instal Marco Mueller as chief of the Rome Film Festival following his surprise ouster from Venice last December, when his role as artistic director was not renewed after eight successful years.

Taking into consideration Mueller’s know-how and individuality, Ferrari’s (pictured) nomination precedes what is likely to be a complete overhaul of Italy’s second biggest film festival. Mueller’s nomination is expected imminently and little is known about his plans as yet.

Last week former Rome Foundation president Gian Luigi Rondi stepped down under the weight of political pressure and the threat of having funds pulled.

The Rome Film Festival launched in 2006 and lived through a season of political upheaval in 2008. At that time it fell to the then 87-year old Rondi, with his venerable cinema pedigree that includes stints as Venice artistic director and president of Italy’s Donatello awards, to stabilise the event. 

One of the changes Rondi made was to appoint Piera Detassis as sole artistic director, changing the format of five co-artistic directors that had been in place since the festival launched. Detassis went on to manage the event successfully for four editions.

Favourable votes on Monday (Mar 5) came from Rome’s municipality (Mayor Gianni Alemanno), president of the Lazio Region (Renata Polverini), the Chamber Of Commerce (Giancarlo Cremonesi) and Rome’s Music Foundation, the parent organisation overseeing the Auditorium Music Park and festival hub.

The only dissenting vote came from the provincial president Nicola Zingaretti who is said to be against a Mueller nomination.

Ferrari told Italy’s ANSA news agency he was “proud” to be selected for the role.