Moretti returns as Turin fest chief


ROME -- Italian director Nanni Moretti accepted the top job at the Turin Film Festival for the second time in a month Wednesday, after the board member who prompted him to quit in December left his post.

When Moretti first accepted the job in December, Turin organizers said that the high-profile appointment would put the 25-year-old Turin event in the same category as the venerable Venice Film Festival and deep-pocketed newcomer the RomaCinemaFest, which premiered in October.

But Moretti stunned observers by stepping down Dec. 29 after holding the job for just two days. Moretti said a power struggle among directors would have made the situation untenable.

But the power struggle continued behind the scenes following the announcement. Speculation that Moretti might return started after board member Gianni Rondolino -- the main critic of the process used to appoint Moretti -- resigned last week. Turin officials said in an interview Monday that they were trying to convince Moretti to come back, and the director was quoted in the local press as saying he was mulling a return.

Moretti, 53, is one of Italy's best-known directors, with five Festival de Cannes' Palme d'Or nominations and one win, for 2001's "La Stanza del Figlio" (The Son's Room), to his credit. Moretti also has won two Davide di Donatello awards, Italy's highest film honor.

Officials will release more information about Moretti's appointment Thursday.