ENRICO SANNIA – Movie Director

(Rome, 1941-1998)

Born in Rome on June 1, 1941, he was the most genial advertising movie director in Italy.
He completed his professional training at the production studios of Recta Film in Rome, and after a few experiences as director while still very young, he debuted officially during the mid 1960s with Massimo Saraceni Cinematography Studio, and immediately imposed his modern and innovative style in which nothing is ever a cliche or left to chance, from the choice of the cast, the sets, lights, montage, and most of all the angles of shooting. In over thirty years of career spent at the top level, he incessantly renewed the advertising language in cinematography, operating non conventional choices but always absolutely functional to the narration. For example, he focuses up from ground level obliquely or upside down, or makes the shooting equipment appear from behind the elements of the sets as if they were looking onto the set, or zooms in closeups and makes sudden motions, or shoots from mirrors or in total blackness with only one light source (like in the Barilla commercials with Mina in 1969). At times he alternated complicated and dangerous sequence-plans with a hand held camera to fast paced montages, often uprooting the original story boards with incredible results, in a continual experimental work. He shot hundreds of successful advertising campaigns for some of the most important companies, and won numerous awards, both national and international. In addition to Barilla (for whom he filmed in 1981 the first season of the Rediscover the taste of midday campaign) he worked for Alemagna, Autobianchi, Cirio, Ferrarelle, FIAT, Findus, Ford, Gillette, Innocenti, Knorr, Lancia, Merloni, Motta, Palmera, Peroni, Plasmon, Polaroid, Saiwa…and all of the multinationals: Colgate Palmolive, Henkel, Kraft, L’Oreal, Procter & Gamble, Unilever (the famous spots for Cornetto Algida Heart of Cream and of Sofficini were all his), giving excellent performances in each narrative genre, from comedy to action films to films with children. Always very busy on advertising sets, he neglected the field of cinema where his most important experience was Professione reporter(1975) in which he was the assistant of Michelangelo Antonioni and directed the second unit of filming. He died tragically in Rome at age 57 on August 20, 1998, but his spots are still very contemporary and his talent is unsurpassed.

Emmanuel Grossi