RomaCinemaFest to tap Rondi as president

Replaces Goffredo Bettini, who resigned Tuesday

ROME -- Gian Luigi Rondi, the dean of Italian film critics and president of the David di Donatello Awards, will replace Goffredo Bettini as president of the three-year-old RomaCinemaFest, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The official announcement will be made Monday at the mayor's office at Rome's historic Campidoglio, when Bettini's resignation will be accepted. Bettini met with newly elected Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno on Tuesday and agreed to step down to assure City Hall's continued backing of the event.

The 86-year-old Rondi appears to be a compromise candidate, after polarizing film director Pasquale Squitieri was removed from consideration because of his criticism of the festival. Rome Chamber of Commerce director Andrea Mondello was another leading candidate, but in the end Rondi appears to have won out becase of his stronger ties to the cinema industry.

Rondi's selection will likely result in stronger ties between the festival and the Donatello Awards, Italy's highest film honors -- a key desire for Alemanno. Those ties and a new structure for the festival that will put increased emphasis on Italian productions also are likely to be announced Monday, sources said.
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