Marco Mueller, often known as a friend of Indian cinema, has been named the Artistic Director of the Rome International Film Festival, which was founded only in 2006.
After steering the world's oldest movie festival at Venice for eight years through some of its most turbulent storms, Mueller had to quit, a development I felt was unfortunate, given his record in getting the 12-day event afloat and sailing on the Adriatic.
During its early years, Rome was projected as a serious rival to Venice, and some observers now seem to think that if Mueller is given a reasonably long tenure, he could give Venice nightmares.
Muller said: "I am returning to my hometown after 22 years, to work on an exciting project: the new development -- after what's been done in the first six years -- of a festival that wants to cater to the needs of those who make movies, who show movies, and of those who watch them."
Mueller was hired by Rome after a protracted political struggle, which blurred party lines, and which ended in early March with the appointment of Paolo Ferrari as the President of the Festival. Ferrari replaced veteran critic Gian Luigi Rondi, who was bent on opposing Mueller.
The Festival may be held in October or November, and for Mueller, it sure is not going to be a Roman Holiday!