Luca Guadagnino (born 1971) is an Italian film director. He rose to notability with the 2005 film Melissa P., and he is a frequent collaborator with Tilda Swinton, including the 2010 film I Am Love.
Life and career
As a director, screenwriter, producer and artistic entrepreneur, Guadagnino is a prolific creator with an insatiable appetite for creative expression. Born in Palermo, Italy, in 1971, but raised in Ethiopia, Guadagnino’s international vision was calibrated early. He graduated from Rome’s University La Sapienza, in the faculty of History and Critics of Cinema, with a thesis on American film director Jonathan Demme.
Guadagnino’s film success came early. He made his directorial debut with the feature film The Protagonists (1999), presented at the Venice Film Festival. In 2002, he directed Mundo Civilizado, presented at the Locarno Film Festival in 2003. His 2004 film Cuoco Contadino was presented at the Venice Film Festival, while Melissa P. made a successful debut the following year.
The director hit international fame and acclaim in 2009 with his cult hit Io Sono L’Amore ("I am Love"), which he directed, wrote and produced. Presented at the Venice Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Busan (South Korea) Film Festival and 2010’s Sundance Film Festival, the film was an immediate success with critics and audiences alike. In 2010, it was a candidate for the Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, the Golden Globes and the BAFTA nominations for Best Foreign Language film.
Guadagnino’s directorial activity continued in 2011 with Inconscio Italiano, his feature-length documentary film presented at the Locarno Film Festival. The director’s imprint on the documentary genre continued with Bertolucci on Bertolucci (2013) presented at the Venice Film Festival, the London Film Festival and Paris Cinematheque, just a few among 50 other festivals that welcomed the film around the world in 2013 and 2014. Directed by him and Walter Fasano, the documentary on the legendary director Bernardo Bertolucci was made entirely from archive material and received top international accolades.
His latest feature film, A Bigger Splash, is an erotic thriller with a sensational international cast, including Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson and Matthias Schoenaerts and will debut in spring 2015.
Among his prolific film production work, Guadagnino has realized the well-received short film Diarchia (2010), directed by Ferdinando Cito Filomarino. Presented at the Locarno Film Festival, where it won the Pianifica prize, Diarchia received a special mention at 2011's Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for Best Short Film at the European Film Awards, and also won the prize for Best Director of a Short Film at the Nastri d'Argento. Guadagnino produced Edoardo Gabbriellini’s feature film Padroni di Casa, presented at the Locarno Film Festival, while the following year he produced Antonia, the debut feature film of EFA nominee and Sundance winner Ferdinando Cito Filomarino,
Guadagnino’s high profile in the film world, which is his principal art, has made him a frequent candidate for film jury work. He has served twice on the jury of the Turin film festival: in 2003 for the Short Film section and in 2006 for the Official Jury. In 2010, he became a member of the Venice Film Festival, chaired by Quentin Tarantino, while in 2011 he served as president of the Beirut Film Festival and on the jury of the Locarno Film Festival.
Although film remains a central creative pursuit, Guadagnino’s curiosity and passion for diverse artistic disciplines has broadened his field of activity over the last decade. Guadagnino’s early work within the luxury sector, first established with the Italian fashion house Fendi in 2005 (and again in 2013), formally crystallized in 2012 with the creation of Frenesy, a creative agency and production company that conceives and implements luxury communications for luxury brands. Under the Frenesy umbrella Guadagnino produces fashion films, video and print advertising, as well as high-profile creative events.
Always on the hunt for emerging talent and new trends, Guadagnino was tapped in 2012 as head of the jury for Louis Vuitton’s prestigious Journey Awards, an international competition dedicated to young filmmakers. He also participated as a jury member in the first edition of Fashion Film Festival Milano in 2014, chaired by Franca Sozzani, chief editor of Vogue Italia.
Experimenting with a new genre, in December 2011, he made his debut as an opera director with Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi at the Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, Italy.
A magnet for new ideas and relentless in his work output, Guadagnino continues to surprise the film world by playing both inside and outside of its traditional boundaries. Cross-pollinating creative disciplines and collaborators, he has enriched his film output and continues to expand his artistic endeavors.
- Bertolucci on Bertolucci (documentary) 2013 (Directed with Walter Fasano)
- Walking Stories 2013 (Web Series/Ferragamo ads)
- One Plus One 2012 (3.5 min Giorgio Armani ad)
- Here 2012 (15 min Starwood Hotels ad)
- I Am Love 2009
- The Love Factory No. 3 Pippo Delbono – Bisogna morire (documentary) 2008
- Melissa P. 2005
- Cuoco contadino (documentary) 2004
- Lotus (video documentary) 2003
- Mundo civilizado (documentary) 2003
- Tilda Swinton: The Love Factory (documentary short) 2002
- Sconvolto così 2001 short
- L'uomo risacca 2000 short
- The Protagonists 1999
- Qui 1997 short