The Rome Film Festival is under new management following a political shake-up that has led to the appointment of RAI Cinema executive Paola Malanga as the fest’s artistic director and Gian Luca Farinelli, who heads the Bologna film archives, as president.
Malanga, who was appointed late on Tuesday, replaces Antonio Monda, the New York based journalist and film academic who during his seven-year stint at the helm of the event secured a steady stream of high-caliber guests such as Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton and Angelina Jolie, to mention a few names on the Rome red carpet at last year’s edition.
Farinelli –– who has been appointed president of the Cinema Per Roma foundation that oversees the Rome fest –– takes the reins from Laura Delli Colli, a prominent film journo and critic who remains on the foundation’s board.
The new Rome fest regime was prompted by the election last October of new Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri.
The Eternal City extravaganza, which is the brainchild of former Rome mayor Walter Veltroni, has been undergoing management shake-ups due to Italy’s political spoils system ever since its launch in 2006 with Nicole Kidman on the red carpet and ambitions to rival Venice.
While Delli Colli exited gracefully, Monda’s departure has been a bit more acrimonious. In an effort to hold on to the job Monda rallied support from U.S. heavyweights including Martin Scorsese, Joel and Ethan Coen, and Italian helmers Paolo Sorrentino and Marco Bellocchio. To no avail.
Malanga, who is now stepping down as deputy director of RAI Cinema, which is the film arm of Italian pubcaster RAI, was formerly among founders of Italian film magazine Duel. She has been appointed Rome fest artistic director for a three-year period.
Farinelli, besides being chief of the Cineteca di Bologna film archives and its globally renown film restoration lab, also heads Italy’s Il Cinema Ritrovato Festival dedicated to heritage movies that attracts thousands of people –– including international heritage industry folks –– to Bologna in summer. Farinelli is known to have a close rapport with Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux.
The 17th edition of the Rome Film Festival will run in October. It will be interesting to see what shape it will take.
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