Italian director replaces Nanni Moretti

Italo helmer Gianni Amelio will replace Nanni Moretti as topper of the Turin Film Festival in a move that consolidates the status of the small but prominent pic event.

Amelio is among Italy’s most revered auteurs, known internationally for social dramas including “Open Doors,” “Stolen Children,” “Lamerica” and 1998 Venice Golden Lion winner “The Way We Laughed.” Amelio’s most recent film is China-set “The Keys to the House,” which unspooled in Venice in 2006.

Turin organizers acted swiftly to fill the void left after Moretti stepped down last week saying he needed to focus on an upcoming film project.

His resignation followed a two-year stint during which Moretti boosted the profile of the respected fest. Oliver Stone and Roman Polanski were attendees of its 26th edition, which ran Nov. 21-28.

Former Venice fest topper Alberto Barbera, who now heads the Turin Film Museum, which oversees the fest, and chief programmer Emanuela Martini, who remains in place, were among those instrumental in bringing Amelio on board.

Having another big-name director at the helm after Moretti will help Turin to continue to stave off competition from the more mainstream Rome Film Festival, which unspools just a few weeks earlier.

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