MILAN – The new board of Ente Cinema, the state-held film group that controls Cinecitta’s studios, was finally appointed Monday by Italy’s Ministry of Treasury. In a turnaround, the new team was welcomed by Italy’s film industry and by Cinecitta’s unions.

Over the weekend, both protested strongly against Ente Cinema’s outgoing board and its preliminary decision to sell Cinecitta to a group of shareholders, including Italy’s largest TV groups. (Daily Variety, Dec. 17).

Confirming recent reports, the new president of the group is film director Gillo Pontecorvo, replacing Giovanni Grazzini. Luigi Abete, a well-known businessman who until earlier this year led the National Assn. of Entrepreneurs (Confindustria), became chairman of the board.

Pontecorvo said he understood the concerns of Italy’s film industry and unions after the outgoing board announced Saturday its intention to sell 50% of Cinecitta to Italo pubcaster RAI, Fininvest’s TV group MediaSet and Vittorio Cecchi Gori group, which has growing interests in television.

Pontecorvo announced he had asked the Ministry of Treasury to freeze any decision concerning the sale of Cinecitta. Also apparently on hold was the preliminary agreement with a consortium led by Time Warner for the construction and management of a 5,000-seat multiplex theater at Cinecitta. Sources close to Ente Cinema, however, believe that the sale and the TW multiplex deal will ultimately go through.

The other directors named to the board are Franco Cardini, a former director of pubcaster RAI’s board; film director Maurizio Nichetti; Giuseppe Sangiorgi (former president of Istituto Luce); and professors Enzo Roppo and Severino Salvemini.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more