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Nanni Moretti
Nanni Moretti Cannes 2011.jpg
Giovanni Moretti

(1953-08-19) 19 August 1953 (age 69)
  • Actor
  • film director
  • screenwriter
  • producer
Years active1976–present

Giovanni "Nanni" Moretti (Italian pronunciation: [ˈnanni moˈretti]; born 19 August 1953) is an Italian film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor.

His films have won accolades, including a Palme d'Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival for The Son's Room, a Silver Bear at the 1986 Berlin Film Festival for The Mass is Ended and a Silver Lion at the 1981 Venice Film Festival for Sweet Dreams, in addition to the David di Donatello Award for Best Film on three occasions (for Caro diario in 1994, The Son's Room in 2001 and Il caimano in 2006).

Every film he has directed since Caro diario has been shown at the Cannes Film Festival, and in 2012 he was the president of the Official Competition jury.

Life and work

Moretti was born in Bruneck, Italy to Roman parents who were both teachers. His father was the late epigraphist Luigi Moretti, a Greek teacher at Sapienza University of Rome. His brother is literary scholar Franco Moretti.[1][2]

While growing up Moretti discovered his two passions, the cinema and water polo. Having finished his studies he pursued a career as a producer, and in 1973 directed his first two short films: Pâté de bourgeois and The Defeat (La sconfitta).

In 1976, Nanni Moretti's first feature film Io sono un autarchico (I Am Self-Sufficient) was released. In 1978, he wrote, directed and starred in the movie Ecce Bombo, which tells the story of a student having problems with his entourage. It was screened at the Cannes Festival. Sogni d'oro won the Silver Lion at the 38th Venice International Film Festival. La messa è finita won the Silver Bear – Special Jury Prize at the 36th Berlin International Film Festival.[3]

He may be best known for his films Caro diario (Dear Diary, 1993; followed in 1998 by a sequel, Aprile) and La stanza del figlio (The Son's Room, 2001), the latter of which won the Palme d'Or at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.[4]

Moretti has used certain actors several times in his films, generally playing minor roles. His father Luigi appears in 6 films, Dario Cantarelli and Mauro Fabretti in 5, Antonio Petrocelli in 4. More notable Italian actors he has employed frequently in his films include Silvio Orlando, who appears in 5 films (including the role of protagonist in Il caimano) and Laura Morante, who was featured in Sogni d'oro, Bianca and The Son's Room.[citation needed]

Having played waterpolo in the B division of the Italian championship, his experience later inspired his film Palombella Rossa ("palombella," which literally means "little pigeon," refers to a type of lob shot). His other work has not been widely seen outside Europe, but within his country Moretti is known as a maker of wryly humorous and eccentric films, usually starring himself. His most recent role was in the film Mia Madre (My Mother, 2015)

Moretti is also an outspoken political leftist. In 2002, he organized street protests against the government of Silvio Berlusconi.[5] Il caimano (2006) is in part about Berlusconi's controversies: in one of the three portraits of the Italian prime minister Moretti himself plays Berlusconi.[6] Aprile also deals with Italy's political situation and Moretti's views on it. His 2011 film We Have a Pope screened In Competition at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.[7]

He lives in Rome, having been resident since birth, where he is co-owner of a small movie theater, Nuovo Sacher, named like this because of Moretti's passion for Sachertorte.[8] The short film, Il Giorno della prima di Close Up (Opening Day of Close-Up, 1996), shows Moretti at his theatre attempting to encourage patrons to attend the opening day of Abbas Kiarostami's film, Close Up.

He is not religious. In his words, "I remember the shirts that said 'Thank God I'm an atheist'. Funny. But I do not think so. I'm not a believer and I'm sorry."[9]

His 2015 film Mia Madre was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.[10]


Nanni Moretti in 2007
Nanni Moretti in 2007


Short films


Actor only



  1. ^ Giampiero Mughini, «Moretti, il poeta organizzatore», Corriere della Sera, 21 November 2007
  2. ^ Valerie Sanders, The Bourgeois: Between History and Literature by Franco Moretti, Times Higher Education, 27 June 2013
  3. ^ "Berlinale: 1986 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Son's Room". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  5. ^ 200,000 protest in Rome vs Berlusconi's legal "reforms"
  6. ^ "Nanni Moretti profile". The Guardian. London, UK. 17 November 2001. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Official Selection". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 12 December 2014.
  8. ^ "la Repubblica/cinema: Sacher: l'impero di Moretti dedicato a una torta". www.repubblica.it. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  9. ^ Interview for Style Quanto al suo rapporto con la religione: "Ricordo le magliette con la scritta 'Grazie a Dio sono ateo'. Divertenti. Ma io non la penso così. Non sono credente e mi dispiace"
  10. ^ "2015 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 16 April 2015.

Further reading