Rome Fest Artistic Director Mueller Honored by Russo-Italian Premio Gorky

Marco Mueller - P 2012

Marco Mueller - P 2012

The literary competition, created to promote cultural ties between Russia and Italy, honored Mueller for helping to increase the visibility of Russian cinema.

TAORMINA, Sicily – International Rome Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller has been honored for his “contribution to worldwide culture” by the Premio Gorky, an international literary competition created to promote the cultural relationship between Italy and Russia.

Mueller, 60, is preparing for his second edition at the eight-year-old Rome festival after successful tenures as artistic director in Venice, Locarno, and Rotterdam. He is also a noted film producer and critic. Organizers of the Premio Gorky said they were honoring Mueller in recognition of raising the visibility of Russian cinema in Italy and worldwide.

Mueller’s production credits include Solntse (The Sun), a 2005 historical drama from acclaimed Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov, and festivals he’s directed have featured many films with Russian connections, most recently V OĹžidanii Morja (Waiting for the Sea) from Russian-Tajikistani director Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov, which opened the Rome festival last year, and Nebesnye zheny lugovykh mari (Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari) from Russia’s Aleksey Fedorchenko, which screened in competition at the festival.

The five-year-old Premio Gorky takes place on the dramatic island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples; it got underway Sunday and will conclude Wednesday. Mueller is the event’s guest of honor Tuesday, where he will host a conversation with Russian director Andrey Silvestrov ahead of a screening of Nebesnye zheny lugovykh mari.

Previous recipients of the Premio Gorky honor include opera singer Cecilia Bartoli and orchestra director Valery Gergiev.

Mueller is helping to guide the Rome festival through a significant transition this year, as it maneuvers to become an event more focused on popular films and less on world premieres. The festival will take place this year Nov. 8-17.

Twitter: @EricJLyman