Marco Mueller confirmed as artistic director with three-year contract; 2012 edition will run Nov 9-17.

The Rome International Film Festival will move its dates into November under new artistic director Marco Mueller, as anticipated by Screen (Feb 16, 2012). At a board meeting earlier today, Mueller was confirmed for a three-year contract and the 2012 dates set as Nov 9 to 17.

Former Venice Film Festival chief Mueller (pictured) said that the festival would fall three months after Venice and three months before Berlin, giving it the chance to snag some choice world premieres. It will finish the weekend before the US Thanksgiving holiday, and could act as a launchpad for high prestige awards season movies coming from the US.

But, Mueller told Screen after the board meeting, he also took a trip to Asia to consult with sales agents and producers to ensure that the dates would suit some of the Asian blockbusters traditionally lined up for December releases. Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmasters, for example, comes out in China in December this year.

Mueller says he is looking for some 40 exciting titles to play in the festival, composed of 14-16 films in competition, out of competition galas and an upgraded version of the Extra section which encompasses documentaries, animated films and assorted features.

The November move under seasoned festival programmer Mueller shakes up the autumn festival calendar and has ramifications for festivals from Venice and Toronto to London, Tokyo and AFI FEST in Los Angeles.