Ferrari expected to bring ex-Venice chief Mueller on board

ROME — Outgoing Warner Bros. Italy topper Paolo Ferrari has been appointed prexy of the Rome Film Festival, paving the way for the probable appointment of former Venice chief Marco Mueller as Rome artistic director this week.

Ferrari, also former head of Italo motion picture org Anica and among Italy’s most respected film execs, will now have to tackle some thorny issues pertaining to dates and venues for the Rome fest and its Business Street mart.

There has been a big brouhaha recently after news reports that Mueller was mulling slotting the event in late November, potentially stepping on the Turin fest’s toes and also posing a scheduling conflict with the fest’s current venue, Rome’s Auditorium Parco Della Musica.

Mueller, who was ousted from Venice in a power struggle in December after eight years on the Lido, has ambitious plans for Rome, though he is keeping mum until he’s firmly in the saddle.

The prospect of new management for Rome in past months prompted a fierce political battle that risked killing the event.

But the Italian industry largely considers Ferrari and Mueller the right team to take the seven-year-old fest to the next level, maximizing the fact that the Eternal City is Italy’s industry hub.

Competition between Rome and Venice will inevitably increase, though not necessarily with negative consequences for either event.

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