ENNIO GUARNIERI – Photography Director

(Roma, 1930 – Licata, 2019)

Born in Rome on October 12, 1930, he abandoned his studies to be a land surveyor and landed in the world of cinema in a totally fortuitous way. From 1949 to 1956 he worked as an assistant in the troupe of Anchise Brizzi. In 1958 he was on the set of La tempesta (The tempest) with Aldo Tonti directed by Alberto Lattuada and in 1960 with Otello Martelli on the set of La dolce vita by Fellini. After only one year he was filming operator side by side Roberto Gerardi and Marcello Gatti and made his debut as director of photography in 1962 with I giorni contati (Numbered days) by Elio Petri. He collaborated regularly with great directors of refined taste like Mauro Bolognini and Franco Zeffirelli and worked several times with Vittorio De Sica, Marco Ferreri and Lina Wertmüller. In the 1960s he was the trusted photography operator of the divas; in the 1970s he performed his best works in films adapted from literature classics or based on historical reconstruction. He won a Nastro d’Argento (Silver Ribbon Award) for best film photography with Zeffirelli in 1972 (for the movie Fratello Sole, Sorella Luna – Brother Sun, Sister Moon) and in 1983 (La Traviata). In the 1980s and 1990s, though he continued his cinematographic activities, he worked a lot for television. Starting from the 1960s he alternated important advertising productions to his various cinematographic engagements. In this field, Guarnieri was featured as director of photography for the Barilla Carosello spots with Mina directed by Valerio Zurlini in 1965; of the advertising spots of the beginning of 1969, still featuring Mina, directed by Enrico Sannia and of the spots of 1972 with Massimo Ranieri directed by Mauro Bolognini with whom he worked in Metello. In 1985 Guarnieri worked with Federico Fellini for the spot High Society – Rigatoni commissioned by Pietro Barilla for the new launch of this pasta format, filmed in Cinecittà and produced by New CBN.

Giancarlo Gonizzi


MASI Stefano, Dizionario mondiale dei direttori della fotografia (Worldwide Dictionary of Photography Directors), Recco, Le Mani, 2007, Vol. A-K, pp. 372-373.