Deborah Youngs joins The Reporter

Another of the oldtime Variety staffers has joined the ranks of the Hollywood Reporter, which seems to be beefing up its international staff. The latest defection is Deborah Young, long-time Rome-based scribe, who’ll be attending the forthcoming Berlin film festival and reviewing pics there as the “chief international film critic” of the trade sheet.

Young has about 25 years of experience as a film reviewer and a reporter, having specialized not only in Italo cinema but also in the Eastern European and Middle Eastern film industries. She was Rome bureau chief for Variety in the 1990s. Deborah has also contributed copy to specialized mags such as Film Comment and Cineaste.

Young was named director of the Taormina Film Festival in early 2007, becoming one of a handful of Americans to hold such a fest title abroad. The second edition of that fest under Young’s stewardship takes place in June. She is also the chief programmer for New Italian Cinema Events and has selected films for the Venice Film Festival.

As a writer, she has worked with many of the great Italian directors including Ermanno Olmi and the Taviani brothers. Her short feature “The Tour,” which she wrote and directed, premiered at the 2002 Venice Film Festival.

In addition to Deborah, other ex-Variety staffers now form part of the HR team, including Liz Guider, Eric Mika and Hy Hollinger. Also expecting to make the upcoming Berlin scene is ex-Variety Munich-based bureau chief Jack Kindred.

He writes to us saying: “I’m off for Berlin tomorrow (Feb.9) for the fest to visit friends there and perhaps run into old friends or festival enemies. Don’t think l’ll do any work. although I’m accredited for dpa.

I’ve been going there every year since 1971 with the exception of 2004, so it’s hard to break the habit. The festival has improved greatly since Dieter Kosslick took over from de Hadeln, who always gave me a hard time.”