New Petition Calls for Rome Film Fest to Officially Sign Marco Mueller as Artistic Director

11:38 AM PST 05/02/2012 by Eric Lyman

Plans for the fest have stalled because of contract negotiations.

ROME – A petition signed by nearly 200 leading Italian directors, actors and producers called for former Venice Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller to be finalized as the head of the 7-year-old International Rome Film Festival.

Mueller was officially appointed to the Rome post March 16, but since then negotiations over the terms and length of his contracts have dragged on for what a festival spokesman said were “technical” reasons. But with the start of the festival only around six months away and the bureaucratic process surrounding the appointment of Mueller and festival president Paolo Ferrari taking precedence over the event’s structure and lineup, some corners of the industry in Italy have started to worry.

The petition was started by the publication Cine Clandestino, based on, it said “continued concern over the world of culture in Italy and the fate of the International Rome Film Festival.” As of late Wednesday, the petition was signed by 190 leading industry figures from Italy, including film directors Marco Bellocchio, Bernardo Bertolucci, Ermano Olmi, and Gabriele Salvatores, as well as actor/directors Alessandro Gassman and Michele Placido.

STORY: Rome Film Festival Pushes Dates to Late November

There was no official word about the petition from Rome festival organizers, but indications are that festival board meeting Friday or festival’s Assembly of the Founders meeting on Monday, May 7.

The festival is set to take place this year either in October, its traditional dates, or in November, where Mueller would like the festival to eventually land, where it could serve as a halfway point between the Toronto Film Festival in November and the Berlin Film Festival in February. In late April, Rome officials told The Hollywood Reporter that the move to November had been agreed to, but so far there has been to official announcement on the topic.

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