The Italian film critic, Irene Bignardi, has been chosen as the new director of the Locarno film festival. She is to replace Marco Müller, who resigned shortly after this year's festival in August.
Bignardi, who has the backing of the festival's president, Marco Solari, was the clear favourite for the post. She is regarded as one of Europe's foremost film critics, having been film editor of Rome's "La Repubblica" newspaper.
Responding to her appointment, Bignardi said Locarno was the foremost festival for "building bridges between artists and the public".
The 57-year-old is the first woman appointed to head the Locarno festival. She has covered Locarno as a film critic since 1968, and in 1998 was a member of the festival's jury.
Bignardi's appointment comes amid major changes in the festival's leadership. She is to replace Marco Müller, who stepped down in August to pursue a career in film-making.
His departure came shortly after the festival's then president, Guiseppe Buffi, was killed in a car accident.
Bignardi's appointment is due to be confirmed by the festival's administrative board on November 13.
swissinfo with agencies