Antonio Monda Named Rome Film Festival Artistic Director

Antonio Monda Rome Film Festival P 2015
Courtesy of Rome Film Festival

Antonio Monda Rome Film Festival P 2015

The NYU Tisch School lecturer on Italian cinema and Hollywood auteurs will succeed Marco Mueller.

Following Marco Mueller’s exit from the troubled Rome Film Festival last year, Antonio Monda is stepping in to fill his shoes as the new artistic director.

Similar to Mueller, Monda has both a production and academic background. He is currently an associate professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, lecturing on Italian cinema and Hollywood auteurs. He has directed a number of documentaries, as well as the feature comedy Dicembre, which debuted in Venice.

Monda is considered to be well-connected in the film landscape with ties to both Europe and the U.S. Friends with Wes Anderson, he had a cameo in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou as the Loquasto Film Festival director who moderates a Q&A in the beginning of the film.

His curatorial experience includes creating the Open Roads: New Italian Cinema program at the Film Society Lincoln Center and serving as artistic director of the prestigious literary festival Le Conversazioni, which takes place in Rome, New York and Capri. 

He created and hosted, along with Mario Sesti, "A Journey into American Cinema," as part of the Rome Film Festival in previous years. The event led conversations with Tim Burton, the Coen Brothers, Francis Ford Coppola, Spike Lee, David Lynch and Sydney Pollack, as well as Terrence Malick's one and only public appearance in 2007. 

Monda has written several books on cinema and contributes regularly to Vogue and La Repubblica. The New York Times has called him a "one-man Italian cultural institute."

Meanwhile, cultural manager Lucio Argano has been named new General Director of the Fondazione Cinema per Roma, the organization behind the festival. And journalist and film critic Piera Detassis, has been tapped as the new president of the organization after previous president Paolo Ferrari resigned earlier this year. As director of Italy’s popular film magazine Ciak, Detassis has been heavily involved with the festival since its start, previously serving as artistic director.

The new team is expected to continue the festival’s leanings toward the mainstream, hoping to involve more of the public in future festivals. After last year’s failed experiment of making Rome a testing ground for European distributors, the festival is hoping to make the event a pure celebration of cinema in the heartland of the country’s film industry.