Biennale's designated new prexy backs fest chief

Marco Mueller is likely to be reupped as artistic director at the Venice Film Festival, according to the Biennale’s designated new prexy.

Italo culture czar Giancarlo Galan last week tapped marketing exec Giulio Malgara to replace Paolo Baratta as topper of the Biennale, the fest’s parent organization.

Malgara, former prexy of Quaker Oats Europe and current topper of TV ratings provider Auditel, told Corriere della Sera newspaper that Mueller is his candidate to head the fest, praising him as “a serious expert in the sector, highly esteemed by all.”

There was no comment from the Biennale on Monday.

Mandates for both Baratta and Mueller expire this year. Mueller has been Lido lord for eight years.

Malgara’s appointment must still clear the Senate and could be voided if the government falls, which is not impossible given Italy’s volatile political climate.Galan’s choice of Biennale topper has come under fire from Venice mayor Giorgio Orsoni, who called him “inadequate” for the post and said he preferred Baratta to stay on.

Italy’s 100 Autori group of auteurs has also criticized the choice citing Malgara’s alleged lack of competence and cronyism, given his close rapport with prime minister and TV mogul Silvio Berlusconi.

However, Malgara’s marketing background makes it probable that he could lure more Biennale corporate sponsors which, given Italy’s economic predicament, might be a plus.

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