«On the strength of my long experience as an unemployed person ... ».
That was how my short CV began when, at the end of 1988, I presented myself for an interview at Saatchi&Saatchi, the famous advertising agency.
Marketing, advertising, timetable were all terms entirely foreign to me. In my backpack, I was carrying a few stories and, in my head, a vague idea that perhaps I might have been able to become a copywriter.
They told me I could stay for a week. As it turned out, I wound up staying a bit longer: fifteen years.
After one month, I was hired, after three years I became a supervisor, after five, a creative director or, rather, the creative director with the greatest number of awards to his name in all of Italy. Coming as I had from a family of lawyers, and perhaps so as to not to feel the burden of guilt for having betrayed a tradition, I started to dedicate a lot of my free time to social campaigns. By day, I worked for the important clients and, by night, for those who were unable to pay.
In brief, I became the creative director of lost causes.
From the “Panther” student movement to Doctors Without Borders, from the WWF to the Community of Saint Egidio, from Greenpeace to the Tribunal for Patients' Rights, from etcetera to etcetera.
Then, one fine day, I threw my career to the wind, flushed my prizes down the toilet, and took the decision to dedicate myself to film directing, once again as a self-taught practitioner. That was how I began to write and direct the Catholic Church's campaign to solicit the eight-per-mille deductible contribution from taxpayers. I traveled to the most forsaken corners of the Earth and told many invisible stories taking place in our own Country.
In the course of these travels, in those rare moments when I was neither working nor too tired to do anything but sleep, I kept a diary, wrote short stories, composed poems. And I also began to think about new projects that became photography exhibitions, books, web sites, screenplays, documentaries, art films.
Now, starting from both Brooklyn and a slum in Nairobi, a new chapter of my life is about to begin.
Where it will end, I really don't know.