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Marco Mueller, the former artistic chief at the Rome, Venice and Locarno festivals, has been appointed chief adviser to the Beijing Film Festival.

Mueller will “offer guidance for Beijing International Film Festival’s internationalization, professionalization and high-end orientation by making full use of his broad festival-hosting experiences and professional capabilities,” the fest said in a statement.

Mueller is a fluent Mandarin speaker and co-hosted a series of seminars at the first edition in 2011.

The next edition of the BJIFF will be held April 16-23.

“He will bring about substantial reforms to the film festival, especially in respect of its comprehensive integration with the world, in invitation of the global film premieres and international excellent films, the internationalized courtesy for nominated films and staff, and dissemination and promotion of key films,” the statement said.

Until now the Beijing festival has boasted plenty of cash and support from the city authorities in the Chinese capital but has lacked a discernible artistic policy.

The appointment of a figure with as high a profile as Mueller would appear to change that.

“The BJIFF Organizing Committee aims to manifest the principle of ‘Share the Screen, Shape the Future,’ and build BJIFF into a world-class film festival, attracting large quantities of first-rate blockbusters and excellent films both at home and abroad, highlighting the features of ‘Master, Mass and Market,’ and serving for the prosperity of the Chinese films as well as the diversification of the world cultures,” the festival explained.

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