Magazine article Variety

Rome Fest Rebuilds BRICK BY BRIC

Magazine article Variety

Rome Fest Rebuilds BRICK BY BRIC

Article excerpt

Topper Marco Mueller adds Chinese pics as well as an industry focus on the Asian country while feeding his passion for preems

Former Venice Film Festival topper Marco Mueller has finally gotten the chance to put his stamp on the Rome Film Fest this year. Technically, this is Mueller's second season atop the metropolitan festival, but last year, forced to pick out a lineup in haste, he insisted on including only world premieres and wound up with a lineup that was out of sync with the tastes of the average Roman filmgoer.

Not surprisingly for a man who speaks both Mandarin and Cantonese, Mueller has China playing a big role in his reimagining of the festival. He nabbed the fest premiere of Tkui Hark's Chinese 3D megabit "Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon," which screens out of competition Nov. 16, and will feature Chinese rocker Cui Jian's directorial debut, "Blue Sky Bones," set against the backdrop of the Cultural Revolution, in competition Nov. 13.

Rome and its post-AFM Business Street mart have two days dedicated to China, packed with panels and meetings dedicated to co-productions with Europe and prospects for improved distribution of European movies in Asia.

"Rome is becoming the natural connecting point between the European industry and the BRIC countries," Mueller boasts. …

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