ROME — Luciano Sovena is out as topper of Italian state film entity Cinecitta Luce after eight years, following a cost-cutting restructure by culture minister Giancarlo Galan.

An entertainment lawyer known internationally for his savvy in setting up co-productions, and a passionate promoter of Italian cinema, Sovena is expected to accept an offer to become a consultant at Cinecitta Luce, which is being renamed Cinecitta-Istituto Luce.

Former Cinecitta Luce prexy Roberto Cicutto becomes managing director in the revamp.

The new prexy is Rodrigo Cipriani, a former manager of Mediashopping, the telesales unit of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset.

Producer Riccardo Tozzi, who heads Italy’s motion picture org Anica, will be the only other member of the smaller board.Cinecitta-Istituto Luce comprises the vast Istituto Luce archives, a historical treasure trove, and also functions as a promotion entity and a theatrical distributor of Italian first and second works, and a few international titles.

This government-funded entity is separate from the partly-privatized Cinecitta Studios, which is not affected by government cuts.

During his tenure, Sovena was co-producer of a wide range of international titles from Michael Radford’s Al Pacino starrer “The Merchant of Venice” to “The Artist” by Argentine helmers Mariano Cohn and Gaston Duprat, which started an Italy-Argentina cinematic axis.

News of his removal caused consternation in the local industry, and even in Italy’s parliament, where a bipartisan group has demanded an explanation and presented a petition praising his work.