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Rome fest set to decide on topper

Event must choose between Mueller, Detassis

ROME — Protracted wrangling over Marco Mueller’s appointment to head the Rome Film Festival is expected to reach resolution in a board meeting on Friday.

If Mueller is not confirmed by the board, the former Venice topper may start a new Rome event from scratch, according to sources.

The key board meeting was called by 91-year-old fest prexy Gian Luigi Rondi after his tense meeting Wednesday with Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno and Lazio region governor Renata Polverini, who both reiterated their support for Mueller. They want him to relaunch the seven-year-old Eternal City extravaganza.

Over the past two months, Rondi and other board members have been gunning to reup the fest’s former artistic director, Piera Detassis, whose mandate expired in December.

Rondi may now try to push through a vote that would give Detassis one more year at the helm.

But Rondi faces a procedural snag, since his mandate expires in June, at which point Detassis could be ousted by his successor.

The more likely scenario is that Rondi will resign, paving the way for the probable appointment of outgoing Warner Bros. Italia topper Paolo Ferrari as Rome fest prexy, and the installation of a new board, which would appoint Mueller as artistic director.

If the situation isn’t resolved, Mueller is believed to be ready to launch a new Rome fest in late November with financing from the Lazio region and private sponsors.

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