Marco Müller New Artistic Director at Taormina Film Fest

Movies

Veteran film festival director Marco Müller has been named the new artistic director of Italy’s Taormina Film Fest and will take over for Taormina’s 70th edition this year.

Müller is one of the great journeymen of the festival circuit, having run A-list events in Venice, Rotterdam, Locarno and, most recently, the Pingyao festival in Macao.

Sergio Bonomo, special commissioner of the Taormina Arte Sicilia Foundation, which runs the festival, said “Maestro” Müller will be “a driving force of success for the prestigious film event.”

Taormina is one of the world’s oldest film festivals, and one blessed with one of the world’s most beautiful locations in the sun-kissed region of Sicily overlooking Mount Etna that The White Lotus picked as the backdrop for its season 2. The festival centerpiece is the Teatro Antico amphitheater, an historic Greek theater used for Taormina’s premieres.

But the festival’s history has been a stormy one, with 13 directors in 16 years and constant budgetary and funding troubles.

Under Müller’s tutelage, Taormina is hoping its Platinum edition, which runs July 12 – 19, 2024, will run smoothly. Müller is best known for his helming of the Venice Film Festival from 2004 to 2011 and is credited with helping revive the Italian event in part by attracting Hollywood studios to return to the Lido.

“I am happy to work in Sicily to rediscover my roots – I was born and raised in Rome, but my only quarter of Italian blood is from Palermo,” said Müller. “I thank all the people, in the institutions and among friends of cinema, who have built for me this opportunity to experiment in Taormina the moving thought of how a useful popular festival can still be built. We will use the extraordinary Teatro Antico – which was always a source of jealousy for me when I was programming Locarno’s Piazza Grande – and other cinemas in Taormina.”

In addition to his festival work, Müller is also an acclaimed film professor and scholar and a producer of such films as Danis Tanovic’s 2001 Oscar-winning No Man’s Land and Aleksandr Sokurov’s 2005 feature The Sun.

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