Marco Mueller Quits Yet-to-Begin Macao Film Festival

Veteran film festival director Marco Mueller has abruptly quit as festival director of the International Film Festival & Awards Macao. The festival is due to hold its first edition in the former Portuguese colony next month (Dec. 8-13.)

A statement from the festival confirmed Mueller’s resignation with immediate effect, but offered no explanation. Industry sources have recently pointed to artistic differences between selector and management. However, sources close to the festival said that the matter was with lawyers, and they would be unable to comment.

Organizers said that the show will go on. A full program of film selections is due to be announced Monday.

Macau Films & Television Productions and Culture reassures the organizing committee that the secretariat will assume all responsibilities of the festival director and that this incident will not affect the organization of the festival as planned,” said the festival in its statement.

Mueller was previously artistic director at the prestigious European festivals in Locarno, Venice and Rome. Latterly he has parlayed his reputation and language skills in a succession of roles with festivals in Greater China. He was adviser and selector at the Beijing International Film Festival and then the Silk Road Festival, before joining the Macau event earlier this year.

Popular on Variety

Like Hong Kong, Macau is a special administrative region of China with some degree of separate rule. It has become best known in recent years for the growth of its casino gambling industry. Macau’s casinos have overtaken Las Vegas in terms of gaming revenues, but in the last two years the sector has been hit by China’s ongoing anti-corruption purges.

The IFFAM is backed by the territory’s culture and tourism authorities in a bid to diversify away from pure gambling into wider cultural, entertainment and sports activities. The festival is expected to have sections including: a competition; an out-of-competition and gala section; Hidden Dragons, highlighting six overlooked Asian film titles; a Panorama section, gathering some of the year’s top selections from other festivals; an Crossfire, in which noted East Asian directors pick their favorite genre films from outside the region and from outside the U.S.

India’s Shekhar Kapur heads the jury for the international competition.

There will also be an industry section involving conferences and screenings.


More Film

  • Delete History

    'Delete History': Film Review

    If you’ve ever felt frustrated when a website asks you to select photos of traffic lights in order to prove that you’re not a robot, or struggled for a way to keep all your internet passwords straight, then digital-age satire “Delete History” was made with you in mind. Like the spam folder on your Google [...]

  • Whiplash

    Cutting Edge Group Acquires Soundtrack Label Lakeshore Records (EXCLUSIVE)

    Cutting Edge Group, a leading music financier and services provider for film, TV and advertising, has acquired Lakeshore Records, a top independent soundtrack label. Their partnership will provide Cutting Edge with an in-house label, while Lakeshore will continue to operate as an independent, doing albums for such high-profile projects as “Marriage Story,” “Moonlight,” “Stranger Things” [...]

  • Sakamoto

    Ryuichi Sakamoto to be Honored by Locarno Festival

    Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who has worked with David Bowie in various guises and scored movies by greats such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Pedro Almodovar, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, will be honored by the Locarno Film Festival. Sakamoto, an electronic music pioneer whose Yellow Magic Orchestra, formed in 1978, anticipated both techno and rap music debuted [...]

  • The Reason I Jump

    Picturehouse Takes U.K. Rights to Jerry Rothwell's 'The Reason I Jump'

    Picturehouse Entertainment has picked up U.K. distribution rights for the Sundance prize-winning documentary “The Reason I Jump” from MetFilm Sales. Picturehouse’s Clare Binns and Paul Ridd and MetFilm’s Vesna Cudic negotiated the deal following the film’s world premiere at last month’s Sundance Film Festival, where it won the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award. Directed by [...]

  • Jason Segel

    Jason Segel on his AMC Series 'Dispatches' and Working Outside Studio Model

    “How I Met Your Mother” and “Sex Tape” actor Jason Segel has said it was a “magical midlife crisis” that inspired his new AMC series “Dispatches From Elsewhere,” in which the actor was able to take creative control and work outside of studio constraints. Segel, who was speaking Monday as part of a keynote address [...]

  • Sylvester Stallone Variety Cover story

    Sylvester Stallone's 'Little America' Is Pre-Sales Hit for AGC International

    “Little America,” an upcoming Sylvester Stallone-starring sci-fi-action thriller, has proven to be a strong attraction for sales powerhouse AGC International. With Rowan Athale writing and directing, the project was introduced earlier this week at the Berlin Film Festival’s European Film Market. Athale (“Wasteland,” “Outside the Wire,” “Way Down”) was in Berlin and met with distributors. [...]

  • Aum group logo

    'Fruitvale Station' Producer Co-Creates Multicultural Film Fund AUM Group

    “Fruitvale Station” producer Nina Bongiovi is teaming up with prominent figures in the film and tech industries to launch AUM Group, a fund dedicated to acquiring and developing IP and financing multicultural movies.  Among AUM’s (pronounced “om”) other co-founders are Gold House chairman Bing Chen, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin and Bongiovi’s Significant Productions partner Michael [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content