Marco Bellocchio
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

ROME – Italo auteur Marco Bellocchio has been appointed president of Italy’s Cineteca di Bologna, the prominent film archives known globally as a prime film preservation entity and also for its annual Il Cinema Ritrovato fest dedicated to revival and retrospective programming.

Bellocchio’s vast body of work, which spans from 1965 “Fists in the Pocket,” about a dysfunctional family, to 2012 euthanasia-themed “Dormant Beauty,” will soon be featured in a retro at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), running April 19-May 7. The helmer will head the foundation that oversees the Bologna cinematheque, whose director and main operative remains film restoration expert Gian Luca Farinelli.

Bellocchio, 74, specified to the Italian press that the appointment does not mean he will no longer be making movies. Just that he will do what he can to “help this foundation, which is known around the world, to grow even more,” he told Bologna newspaper “Il Resto Del Carlino.”

As chairman of the Bologna film archives foundation Bellocchio replaces helmer Carlo Mazzacurati who passed away in January.

The Bologna film archives run the L’Immagine Ritrovata film restoration lab whose work is eagerly commissioned by major movie classics players in Europe, such as Pathe and Studiocanal. Significantly, they are in charge of restoring preserving Charlie Chaplin’s entire oeuvre. Their archives hold more than 18,000 titles in total.

Last year the Cineteca di Bologna also branched out into theatrical distribution, its first release being Alfred Hitchcock’s “Dial M For Murder” in 3D.

The 28th edition of Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato fest, which is headed by Finnish critic, historian and filmmaker Peter von Bagh, will run June 28-July 5. It will be preceded by a two-day confab celebrating the centennial of Charlie Chaplin’s movie debut with 13-minute one-reeler “Making A Living.”

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