Venice fest keeps it consistent with Mueller

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ROME -- Marco Mueller is back at the Venice Film Festival as artistic director.

The decision, which became official Wednesday, was widely expected but was the last necessary step to Mueller claiming his second four-year term at Venice's helm.

Mueller's previous four years have seen an improvement in the level of films screened at the venerable festival. In each of the past two years, every film in competition has been a world premiere and several have gone on to do well at the Oscars, with critics and at the boxoffice.

Before Mueller, Venice had five artistic directors in 16 years. By the end of his second term, it will have had only one in eight years.

The challenge for the coming years will be working around a huge construction site on the Lido as work begins on the new $100 million Palazzo del Cinema, which should be completed before the end of Mueller's new term.

Mueller was re-nominated for the position in January after the appointment of Paolo Baratta -- a former lawmaker who had served as president of the Venice Biennale -- as the new Biennale chief, replacing Davide Croff.

The 65th edition of the Venice festival is set for Aug. 27-Sept. 6.
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