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ROME — Officials from the International Rome Film Festival said Friday that the fest has agreed to move its dates back from mid-October to late November.
Meanwhile, the lingering contract issues involving newly appointed artistic director Marco Mueller appear to be resolved. If that is indeed the case, it would end a long period of uncertainty for the 7-year-old festival that began in January with the start of a drawn-out battle over whether Mueller and new festival president Paolo Ferrari should be named to replace incumbents Piera Detassis and Gian Luigi Rondi, respectively.
But even after Ferrari’s appointment in early March and Mueller’s two weeks later, controversy erupted over reports about Mueller’s salary and what festival officials said were “technical” problems with the artistic director’s contract.
Mueller also said he wanted to move the festival’s dates back from the third week in October to late November, where the festival would be perched at the midway point between the close of the Toronto International Film Festival in September and the Berlin International Film Festival in February. But that plan was controversial because it meant that Rome would overlap with the Turin Film Festival, which could make it difficult for the 30-year-old Turin event to attract media attention.
On Friday, the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica reported in a full-page spread that Mueller had threatened to walk away from the festival if his contract issues where not resolved quickly. Festival officials said the report was inaccurate.
But on Friday, both of those issues seemed to be resolved: High-level Rome officials told The Hollywood Reporter that the change of dates had been agreed to and would officially be announced next week and that the contract issue had also been hammered out and would be finalized next week.
Mueller came to the Rome festival from Venice, where he served back-to-back four-year mandates before being ousted in favor of National Film Museum president Alberto Barbera in December.
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