Italian film producer Roberto Cicutto has been named the new president of the Biennale di Venezia, reports Monopol. Italy’s Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini announced that the seventy-one-year-old Venice native would assume leadership of the parent organization of Venice’s art and architecture biennials during a press conference in Rome on Monday. The Biennale di Venezia also oversees festivals dedicated to dance, film, music, and theater.
Born in Venice in 1948, Cicutto moved to Rome in the late 1960s to pursue a career in film. He is head of the state-owned Istituto Luce-Cinecittà, which promotes Italian cinema across the globe. The company also runs Rome’s famous Cinecittà film studios, which was deprivatized by Franceschini in 2017. Cicutto is the founder of several production companies including Mikado Film, Sacher Distribuzione, and Aura Film, which produced Ermanno Olmi’s film The Legend of the Holy Drinker, the winner of Venice’s prestigious Golden Lion in 1988.
Cicutto takes the helm from Paolo Baratta, who led the Venice Biennale for twelve years, months before the opening of the seventeenth architecture biennial, which will kick off in May. One of the first tasks he’ll be charged with is finding a replacement for Alberto Barbera, the director of the Venice Film Festival. Barbera’s term expires after the next edition, which will take place in September.