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ph. flavia loreto

Born on August 16, 1957 in Messina (Italy), he graduated in Law with a thesis on film rights, and worked in some art houses. After his long experience as a programme coordinator in the Taormina Intl. Film Festival, he became Artistic Director in many film exhibitions, dedicated to independent Italian cinema: among them, Messina Film Festival (1995-1999), CostaIblea Film Festival (2003-2009), Valdarno Cinema Fedic (2006-2014). Since 1996 he conducted an assiduous didactic activity, holding courses and workshops in many Italian cities; for three years (2005-2008) he taught Cinema at the University of Messina.

He made his debut as film director shooting two amateur Super 8 films - the feature La caviglia di Amelia (Amelia’s Ankle) and the short Bionda per un giorno (Blonde for a Day) - and some videos (among them Lonesome, produced by Salso Film&Tv Festival with Rai-Italian State Television). He directed in 1987 his first feature film in 16mm. La gentilezza del tocco (The Gentle Touch), premiered in San Sebastian, then shown in several festivals (Turin, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Sydney, Hamburg, Galway). Awarded as Best Independent Film of the Year in Bellaria, this film won the Laceno d'Oro in Avellino, then the Bronze Dolphin and the Fipresci Award in Troia (Portugal); nominated to the Italian Silver Ribbons, it won in 1989 the Sacher d'Oro for Best Debut Film (in the first edition of this prize, created by the Italian film director Nanni Moretti).

If possible even more “independent”, the feature film Visioni private (Private Visions) - shot in 16 mm. together with Ninni Bruschetta and Donald Ranvaud during Taormina Film Festival 1988, and completed two years later - became an object of desire in the international circuit (Turin, Smoljan, Rotterdam, Valencia, Troia, Jerusalem and the Intl. Forum at the Berlinale) due to its unusual setting in a film festival milieu. Still together with the stage director Ninni Bruschetta, in 1988 he wrote the play Il battello degli amanti (The Lovers’ Boat), and afterwards he adapted I carabinieri, by Beniamino Joppolo, performed in the Orestiadi (Gibellina) 1994, then in tour. In the same year Sellerio published La gentilezza del tocco, containing the screenplays of his three professional films, including Nessuno (Nobody), his first feature in 35 mm., shown in 1992 at EuropaCinema (Viareggio), Saint-Vincent’s Grolle d'Oro and Annecy.

In November 1995 he made his debut as an opera director in Messina, staging Gaetano Donizetti’s Rita ou le mari battu, followed two years later by Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, then  Norma (1998) and La Sonnambula (2003), both composed by Vincenzo Bellini. He also directed the film documentation for all five stagings.

In 1997 he returned to cinema directing Cinque giorni di tempesta (Five Stormy Days), premiered at the 54th Venice Film Festival, then shown in Los Angeles, Moscow, Luxembourg, Casablanca. The film was awarded with the Grand Prix in Annecy Film Festival, the Young European Cinema Award in Osaka and the Siae Award for Best Story (co-authors Giovanni and Sandro Veronesi); its protagonist Roberto De Francesco won the Sacher d'Oro 1998 as Best Italian Actor.

After Metronotte (Night Watch) – shown in 2000 at Mystfest (Cattolica), in competition at Annecy and Villerupt, then in several European cities – he made in 2002 his debut as a documentary director, shooting for the series “The Sacher Diaries” L’implacabile tenente Rossi (The Implacable Lieutenant Rossi), screened in a number of festivals after the world première in Locarno. Two years later he directed In the Name of the Godfather - shot on F. F. Coppola’s Sicilian sets, and screened in Taormina Film Festival - a preparatory work for the medium-length Nella terra del Padrino (In the Land of the Godfather), completed in 2012 with the support of Rai Cinema.

In 2013 he started with Mia Arfuso the production company Polittico, which made its debut with the documentary Mise en Scène with Arthur Penn (A Conversation) - shoot by the Iranian director Amir Naderi, co-produced by Alphaville Film and Rai show Fuori Orario, and shown during the 71st Venice Film Festival.

In 2015, he wrote, produced and directed the feature film Seconda primavera (Second Spring), which scooped up accolades in five different countries (Italy, Spain, Canada, U.S. and U.K.), then helping significantly Francesco to be awarded the Prix Sergio Leone for lifetime achievement at 34th Annecy Cinéma Italien (France).

francesco calogero
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