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Fest strirring as Moretti returns

Italian helmer will give big boost to event

Italo film buffs are so happy Nanni Moretti is back as topper of the Turin Film Festival that they’re starting to compare the helmer and his small cutting-edge fest to Robert Redford and Sundance.

A monthlong dustup saw the temperamental auteur of “The Son’s Room” first accept the Turin post in late December, then resign just two days later because he didn’t want to get entangled in a power struggle between organizers. That’s since been resolved.

Conflict is not congenial to Moretti.

“Venice, Rome and Turin are three different festivals with separate identities, so I don’t think there will be any problems between them,” he says.

But with the three Italo events slotted a little more than a month apart — in September, October and November, respectively — it’s pretty hard to see how, with Moretti manning Turin, the three events won’t be stepping on each other’s toes even more than before.

As one Italo insider put it, “Moretti can just pick up the phone and get ahold of people like Pedro Almodovar.”

And while the popular helmer says he won’t become a “media magnet” or care about stars, there’s no doubt he will give a big boost to the fest dedicated to young directors and indie pics.

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