Nanni Moretti is one of Italy's most original film-makers. Moretti is especially concerned
with the political situation in his country, and this concern is reflected in his
films. Intensely private, independent and self-sufficient in his way of thinking, he creates
moving, incisive, and humorous portraits of life, filtered through a passionate and
Giovanni “Nanni” Moretti was born in Bruneck-Brunico, Italy on the 19th of August,
1953, but spent almost all of his life in Rome, where since his childhood he has devoted
himself to his two passions: cinema and water-polo.
He was a member of the Italian Jr. National Water Polo Team and also played in the
Italian league. This sporting experience later inspired his film, Palombella Rossa ("palombella," which literally means "little pigeon," refers to a type of water polo lob shot).
In 1973, at the age of 20 years, Nanni sold his stamp collection to buy a super 8mm cinema
camera and started making home-made, short films with his friends. In 1976 he directed,
in super 8mm, his first full-length film, destined to make him known as a new talent of
Italian cinema: Io Sono Un Autarchico ("I am Self-Sufficient").
Moretti’s professional movie-making career started with Ecce Bombo (1978,” Behold the
Bumblebee”). This was also his first nation-wide success, and is still a cult-movie favorite
for many Italians. After Sogni D'oro (1981, "Sweet Dreams") followed Bianca (1983), La
Messa è Finita (1985, "The Mass Is Ended"), and Palombella Rossa (1989), for his newly
formed production company, Sacher Films.
He gained an international following with Caro Diario (1993, Dear Diary), for which he
won the Best Director award at Cannes. Aprile (1998, “April”), preceded Moretti’s affecting
and uncharacteristically somber family drama La Stanza del Figlio, (The Son’s Room),
which brought him easily his most prestigious honor, The Golden Palm, at the 2001
Cannes Film Festival.
His controversial, anti-Berlusconi polemic, Il Caimano (“The Alligator”), released in 2006 has been succeeded as his
most recent film by this year’s Caos Calmo (2008, “Quiet Chaos”), in which Moretti co-wrote the screenplay and
plays the lead character.
In addition to producing, directing, writing and acting in his own films, for which he has won awards in film festivals
held around the world, he also has produced, acted in or written screenplays for other directors, including Padre
Padrone (1977), by the Taviani brothers, in Domani Accadrà (1988) and Il Portaborse (1991, "The Yes-Man"), both
by Daniele Luchetti, and in La Seconda Volta (1995) by Mimmo Calopresti
Like Spielberg, Scorsese, Tarantino and the world’s other great film makers, Moretti has taught the Cinema
Masterclass at Cannes. He is the director of the Turin Film Festival and still lives in Rome, where he is co-owner of
a small movie theater, Nuovo Sacher.
But he no longer ventures into the pool for water polo. “Water polo isn’t the sort of game you can play like tennis and
football, the sort of game where you can run around slightly more slowly if you are not fit,” he says. “If you are not
properly trained in water polo, you just die.”