10 Italian Filmmakers To Watch

By Margherita Pellegrino

Independent cinema more often than not remains the only place where to find good quality filmmaking, talented artists and challenging, diverse themes. And it is surely true that, in Italy, Independent cinema is charged with/connected to leftist political ideas, being often the only place where such ideas can be expressed and represented crudely enough (independent cinema is also referred to as ‘free cinema’).

The work of director Nanni Moretti is an example of this: while his films are quite widely distributed, he is a promoter for independent cinema and also founder of production company Sacher Film. The majority of his critically acclaimed films are about political issues, courageously laden with political meaning and aimed at unveiling social injustices and corruption, so much so that he has spurred controversy in many occasions.

Up until a few years ago, the divide between mainstream and independent materialised itself in the opposition between regular cinema screens and the so called ‘cinema d’essai’s, with the latter being literally the only chance for Indie films to be shown (apart from festivals), often to a selected audience of Indie fans.

It has become more difficult to come across a ‘cinema d’essai’, mostly because of the aggressive diffusion of multiplexes. Nowadays, independent cinema mostly finds its outlet either on the internet (we are after all in the era of ‘youtube’ and other ‘broadcast yourself’ platforms) or in festivals or other specifically indie-oriented showcases.

More rarely, Indie films are shown on ‘less mainstream’ tv channels (like for example, Rai 3 or cable channels which are not widely diffused or watched) in ‘underground’ programs meant to provide an alternative to usual tv. An example of this is the tv program ‘Screensaver’, a creative platform which shows videos and films made by young people, therefore giving authors an unique opportunity to see their work on tv.

In any case, though, internet and Festivals do remain the main, probably only real places of opportunity for Indie filmmakers.

New Indie Italian filmmakers


36 years old and originating from Sardinia, Paolo Zucca, a modern literature graduate, has won a scholarship from RAI, one of the two main Italian tv broadcasters. He has then gone on to graduating in Film directing, with his final work ‘Banana Rossa’ competing in Cannes for the Young Director Award. He has won the prestigious David of Donatello for his film L’Arbitro (‘The Referee’), amongst many other awards.
His portfolio of shorts and features can be viewed on his personal website


With an academic background which features filmmaking courses in Italy and New York, Francesco Costantini actively contributes to Italian indie cinema through writing and producing. He has founded and is now managing director of the independent production company Muving. He has directed and produced various award winning short films (Il metodo Proitzer – The Proitzer method, Efraim) Watch here:


A young director with a quite vast portfolio of work, he has his own website (also in English) which features his biography, films and pictures: http://www.andrealodovichetti.com/
Andrea has won prizes at competition and festivals around the world, including a Golden Globe for best short with the short film “Sotto il mio giardino” (‘Under my garden’).


A gifted director and actor, has directed and starred in the celebrated short film Il sindaco (The Mayor) which can be watched here. He is also a producer and focuses mostly on short films.


Award winning young director, celebrated at the prestigious Taormina Film Festival for his short film “Rec stop & play”. Emanuele originates from Sicily, and despite his young age he has already built a solid portfolio of short films, many of which have entered prestigious festivals and won various awards.  Watch his work here


Originating from Bari in the southern region of Apulia, Ermes started out as a theatre director, in 2005 he wrote and directed the award winning short film “Lifting”.
Amongst his other projects: the short documentary “Crew”, showcased at the Rome Film Festival and also screened on national television; and an award winning set of social ads “Prevenire e’ vivere” (‘To prevent is to live’).
He is also founder of the distribution company Zerottanta and teacher of filmmaking in various schools. Watch an example of his work here


Born in Tuscany, he graduated in filmmaking with a dissertation on director Terrence Malick. He has directed numerous short films, winning various awards, and is also a photographer. At the moment he is dedicated to experimenting, directing music videos for new bands and TV ads. His acclaimed work “No end” can be seen here


These two young directors work together under the name of “Videoteppisti”, which literally means ‘video yobs’. They say they started working together because they were ‘tired of the usual cinema’ and pride themselves on making films with no budget. The Videoteppisti duo represent an interesting example of cinema of experimentation and have attracted quite a lot of attention for their no-frills and high impact filmmaking. An example of their work, the indie-horror “Semelle”, can be seen here

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About The Author

Margherita Pellegrino Margherita Pellegrino moved to the UK from Italy five years ago, studied Sociology and is now about to finish a Masters Degree in United States Studies.

She is obsessed with cinema and the United States (especially New York) and loves to write (and talk) incessantly about both.

She would like to work as a reviewer/film critic, or maybe in casting because she has a sixth sense about people.

Margherita is presently intening at Raindance.


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10 Italian Filmmakers To watch