Home Entertainment Marco Mueller Appointed Director of Italy’s Taormina Film Festival, Former London Fest...

Marco Mueller Appointed Director of Italy’s Taormina Film Festival, Former London Fest Chief Sandra Hebron on Selection Committee

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Marco Mueller has been appointed artistic director of Italy’s Taormina Film Festival, which will have a top notch selection committee comprising British film curator and former London fest chief Sandra Hebron and former Cannes Directors’ Fortnight boss Edouard Waintrop.

As anticipated by Variety, Mueller, who over the past decades has headed both the Venice and Rome fests — among several other events — is taking the reins of the storied Sicilian event that has had its ups and downs over the years. Held since the mid-1950s in the Sicilian resort known to U.S. audiences as the location of “The White Lotus” Season 2, the summer fest boasts an 8,000-seat open-air ancient Greek amphitheater in the shadow of Sicily’s active Mt. Etna volcano. Guests have included Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Steven Spielberg, Federico Fellini, Pedro Almodovar and Tom Cruise.

The 70th edition of Taormina will run July 12-19. It will be interesting to see what Mueller and his high-caliber team manage to pull off with only a few months to secure titles.

Other members of the new Taormina programming team are Italian critic Enrico Magrelli, who was Mueller’s right-hand man at Venice, and Carmelo Marabello, a film academic with industry know-how.

“I’m delighted to be working in Sicily where I will be rediscoving my roots – I was born and raised in Rome, but my only quarter of Italian blood is from Palermo,” Mueller said in a statement. “I thank all the people, within institutions and among the friends of cinema, who have created this opportunity for me to experiment in Taormina the moving thought of how a useful popular festival can still be built.”