In all these years I worked and collaborated with so many people who inspired me, but a few in particular left an important mark that is still vivid in my daily approach to my work and my life: my grandmother Maria, the Italian director Alessandra Bocchetti, the Romanian director Ana Simon, the French screenwriter Gerard Brach, the Russian director Andrej Konchalowski, the American actor Harvey Keitel, the French intellectual Daisy De Galard, the African artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré.
Writer • Director • Producer
I began my career in the movie business as an assistant director in Italy and Spain.
After a few years I made my first music video. I joined First Organization, the company of Pooh, a very famous Italian band. For three years I wrote, directed, and produced music videos in Italy, Hawaii, Brazil and Japan. Later, I went to Paris to convince Gerard Brach to work with me on a script. This collaboration resulted in my first feature film, Domino.
My next project, "Cinema against Violence" consisted of 18 short PSAs in black and white on important social ills such as child abuse, rape, solitude of the elderly, etc. for a major Italian TV Network.
Subsequently I shot a feature-length film for television, Eleonora Pimentel, the Jacobean Marquise, about an Italian woman aristocrat and leader of the Neapolitan Revolution (which followed the French Revolution). The tragedy of her story is that she was condemned and hanged for her role in the revolution. The injustice of her story is that she was the only one.
Later, I again worked on a social issues campaign. This time on HIV/AIDS awareness for the French government and the French doctors organization “Médecins du Monde.”
Returning to my interest in exceptional women I then went to North Africa to follow in the footsteps and write the story of a European woman who lived at the turn of the 20th century, left Europe and went to live exotic adventures as a guide in the North African desert.
After that, in Brazil I wrote and prepared a film about sexual tourism and pedophilia. I lived in Rio de Janeiro and traveled across the country. This film brought me face to face with the plight of abandoned children who either live in the streets or are in prison for minor crimes. I discovered and documented the existence of prisons for girls from 4 to 11 years old. I learned that the girls were raped, sold as prostitutes by the guards and abused in unimaginable ways by prison officials.
In West Africa, I wrote, directed and produced a docu-drama, Nadro, about the artist and scholar Frédéric Bruly Bouabré. As a political action against the French colonization of his country, Ivory Coast, Bouabré invented an alphabet from his tribal language, Bété, as a form of cultural emancipation and journey of identity.
I then travelled to the United States where I wrote a screenplay adaptation of the New York Times best-selling autobiography “Patches of Fire” by Albert French. It is the true story of one of the first African-American soldiers sent to the Vietnam War.
Next, I spent six months in Argentina writing and preparing a film,The Film Thief, about a projectionist who travels around the Andes showing films to the Indios, who had never encountered movies before.
Currently, I am scheduled to executive produce a miniseries I recently wrote “The Life of Luciano Pavarotti” for Indiana Film Production.
With my company I M From Mars Films, based in Los Angeles, I’m working on several projects. One is a road movie, Mogador, a crazy, deadly escape from Las Vegas to Mexico of four young people. Another project is All the Queen’s Men, a drama about a woman trying to reconstruct herself. Also, a film on sex trafficking in America, and a drama about A Girl Under the Influence. Lastly, I am also working on a comedy, Leonardo, based on the book Leonardo’s Kitchen Note Books, by Jonathan & Shelagh Routh.
Throughout my career my work has reflected my interest in addressing social issues. Whether campaigns, fictional dramas, or documentary features I have sought to explore the topics of child abuse, violence against women, women's rights, gay rights and identity. I'm actually working on the global TV/Digital Series project "One Day In America", a portrait of the US through intertwined stories exploring pressing and divisive issues.
In August 2015 I founded Women Occupy Hollywood in order to raise awareness about the injustice experienced by Women in the Industry. The goal is to build a movement to storm the gates of an Industry that lacks and needs women's presence, voices and talent, and Occupy the rightful place that women deserve in Hollywood's creative, technical and business arenas. Women Occupy Hollywood brings together women writers, directors, producers and financiers in order to develop, finance, produce and distribute films made by women, and to create an alternative to the Hollywood system, a true reinvigorated Independent Cinema.
From 2015 I am mentoring and teaching Screenwriting students for the program Qalambaaz (Pakistan).
Accomplishments and Prizes:
The Best Screenplay for a TV Movie - Italy;
Best Video-Theatre in Polverigi;
My African documentary Nadro about the artist-scholar Frédéric Bruly Bouabré was featured in over 30 festivals around the world. The film opened the Panorama Section at the Berlin Film Festival and received numerous prizes. The highlights included Best Director at the Namur Film Festival and the "Best Essay", a prize created expressly for my film at the Montrèal International Festival of Films on Art and the People's Choice Top Ten at the Sydney Film Festival.