Marco Mueller to Move to Rome Fest (Report)

Venice Film Festival director is reported to be eyeing a move to the Rome event next year.


ROME -- Long-time Venice Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller may take over the reigns of the six-year-old International Rome Film Festival starting in 2012, an article in Wednesday’s edition of the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica said.

Venice officials brushed off the report, with a spokesman telling The Hollywood Reporter that, “This kind of speculation seems to emerge every few years.”

And a spokesman for Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno, who the article said personally approached Mueller about the possible move, said the story was groundless. “I have to idea where that report came from,” he said.

But Franco Montini, a veteran La Repubblica journalist, said in a telephone interview that the story -- which says that Mueller was approached about the job and is considering it -- is correct.

“Of course, everyone involved is going to say it is not true because there’s nothing official yet,” Montini said. “Both Venice and Rome have this year’s editions to worry about before they start talking about 2012.”

The article said that Mueller would take over the Rome festival starting with the 2012 edition, and that he would replace both Gian Luigi Rondi, the Rome festival’s 89-year-old president, and Pierra Detassis, the festival’s artistic director. The article said the plan would be to merge the festival with the Rome Fiction Fest, the five-year-old television fiction festival that takes place in the Italian capital in July.

If Mueller, who was born in Rome, indeed replaces both Rondi and Detassis it would give him more control over the festival than he has in Venice, where he has been artistic director for eight years. Mueller’s mandate is set to expire after this year’s event along with those of most top festival officials, who can subsequently be reappointed.

The two festivals clashed repeatedly in the first few years of the Rome festival’s existence but in recent years the tone of the competition between them has become more civil.