Moretti: Turin happy with its niche

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ROME -- In his first public appearance as the new head of the Turin Film Festival, Italian director Nanni Moretti on Thursday said that he wants the 25-year-old fest to stay true to its roots and avoid clashing with its better-funded rivals in Venice and Rome.

Moretti officially accepted the position at a briefing Thursday, though the news broke a day earlier and had been rumored for nearly a week. The 53-year-old Moretti originally accepted the job on Dec. 27 but resigned two days later, citing a power struggle among ranking festival officials as his reason.

When he originally accepted the job in December, Turin officials said that the appointment of such a high-profile figure would vault the Turin event onto a level occupied by the august Venice Film Festival and the new RomaCinemaFest, which held its first edition in October. But Moretti said that will not happen.

"The Turin Film festival has its niche and it will continue to occupy that niche," Moretti said in an interview. The festival, which will hold its 25th edition in November, generally focuses on films from emerging directors.

The way for Moretti's return was paved when Turin board member Gianni Rondolino -- the main critic of the process used to appoint Moretti -- resigned last week. Turin officials said in an interview Monday that they were trying to convince Moretti to come back, and the director was quoted in the local press a day later Tuesday as saying he was mulling a return.

Moretti is one of Italy's best known directors, with five Festival de Cannes' Palme d'Or nominations to his credit, with one win, for "La Stanza del Figlio" (The Son's Room) from 2001. Moretti also has won two Davide di Donatello awards, Italy's highest film honors.
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