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Turin Fest Sticks With November Dates, Setting Up Likely Collision With Rival Rome Fest

Paolo Virzi Headshot - P 2012
Paolo Virzi, Turin's new artistic director

Turin had been expected to move up on the calendar to avoid a similar clash with the Rome fest this year.

ROME – The Turin Film Festival on Friday announced the dates for its 31st edition, revealing that it plans to keep its November spot on the calendar and setting up another clash with the International Rome Film Festival.

The Turin event, which will be headed next year by director Paolo Virzi, announced Friday its next edition will take place Nov. 22-30. That means the event is likely to take place uncomfortably close to the rival Rome event, which has not officially announced its dates for its eighth edition, but the festival took place this year Nov. 9-17.

It had been reported earlier that Turin would switch its dates to October starting this year in order to avoid another clash with Rome.

The issue of the dates involving the Turin and Rome dates back nearly a year, when former Venice Film Festival head Marco Mueller emerged as a candidate to take over the Rome festival. He said he wanted the festival, which took place in October during the first six years of its existence, to be pushed back to November in order to act as a halfway point between the Venice and Toronto festivals in September and Berlin in February.

But the date change ruffled feathers in Turin, where then-artistic director Gianni Amelio said the scant six-day gap in 2012 between Rome’s close and Turin’s opening would make it harder for Turin to attract advertisers and media attention. Organizers said Rome’s change in dates, announced in May, took place too late for Turin to move to another spot on the calendar.

The proximity of the two events appeared to have little impact on Turin, which, despite a high-profile snub from would-be career honoree Ken Loach, was the only major Italian film festival to see ticket sales rise for its 2012 edition.

The issue became political, with Turin mayor Piero Fassino appealing to Italy’s Minister of Culture Lorenzo Ornaghi to force Rome to push its dates back to October. Ornaghi met with the leadership of both events, and the compromise reached was that they would take place in close proximity for only one year, with Turin moving up to October starting in 2013.

As of Friday’s announcement, that will not happen. It was not immediately clear why Turin chose to stick with its original spot on the calendar, or how Turin’s decision will impact plans for the festival in Rome.