Croff expected to head Venice Biennale

The power struggle plaguing the Venice Film Festival is nearing its final stretch, with Moritz de Hadeln’s odds of hanging on to his job as artistic director becoming slimmer.

Italian culture minister Giuliano Urbani is expected to announce today the appointment of Davide Croff, a former banker and Fiat exec, to head the Venice Biennale, the fest’s parent organization. Croff is widely considered a solid replacement for Franco Bernabe, the outgoing Biennale topper, ousted after a protracted power struggle with Urbani.

As yet, it is uncertain whether Urbani will also unseat fest artistic director de Hadeln, whom Bernabe hired. But it does seem likely that the Swiss-born two-time Venice chief may have reached the end of his gondola ride.

However, de Hadeln will not go down without fighting. “It’s really too early to speculate on anything,” he told Daily Variety. “That’s why at this stage I am not going to make any statements saying I’m giving up. I might be out, but who knows …,” he wistfully added.

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