Muller taps Granata as U.S. rep for event

This article was updated on Mar. 22, 2003.

Expect more American accents this year at Venice.

Marco Muller, the film fest’s new artistic director, has signaled his desire for a strong U.S. showing at the upcoming 61st edition. He has appointed former Pandora Cinema exec Eleonora Granata to act as rep of the event in the U.S. Al Newman was the U.S.-based rep for the Venice Film Festival for the last two years, working closely with outgoing fest topper Moritz de Hadeln to scour for U.S. movies and to serve as a conduit between the Hollywood community and the festival organization.

Granata will also serve as a member of Venice’s selection committee.

Based in Los Angeles, Granata previously worked for Venice in 1998 and with Muller from 1999 to 2000 when he headed the Locarno Film Festival. Granata was among the first people Muller called when he was appointed in early March.

“Eleonora has the rare combination of experience and exuberance that the festival will fully benefit from,” he said. “Her impressive industry relationships along with her artistic sensibility fit perfectly with our vision of the festival’s future.”

Aside from scouting for U.S. films for Muller, Granata will serve as a conduit between both U.S. majors and indies and the festival.

Prior to working with the Venice, Locarno and Taormina fests, Granata was senior VP of acquisitions and production at Pandora from 1997-2000 and VP of acquisitions and co-production at Turner Pictures from 1995-97.

Granata began her career at RCS Films and TV, where she held various acquisitions positions from 1989-95, both in Italy and the U.S.

The Italo-Swiss Muller, 50, who also headed the Rotterdam and Pesaro fests, replaced de Hadeln, who was ousted by Italian Culture Minister Giuliano Urbani after a power struggle.

Muller and his team will have five months to assemble the lineup, which is normally announced in late July.

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