Matteo Garrone

One of Italy's most celebrated modern filmmakers, Matteo Garrone began his illustrious career tackling themes of immigration and dark obsession but became a Cannes favorite when he expanded his vision towards everything from mafia epics and reality TV fables to fairytale reimaginings. An art school graduate, Garrone first served as a camera assistant on various Italian TV and film productions before making the leap to director with award-winning short "Silhouette" (1996). His debut full-length feature "Land in Between" (1996) and the similarly socially-conscious "Guests" (1998) established his naturalistic style, while "Welcome Holy Spirit" (1997) and "Oresto Pipolo: fotografo di matrimoni" (1998) proved he was just as talented a documentarian. Noirish drama "The Embalmer" (2002) and disturbing follow-up "First Love" (2004) maintained his run of critical hits, but it was "Gomorrah" (2008), a multi-layered insight into Naples' criminal underworld that launched him to international fame, picking up the Grand Prix at the world's most prestigious film festival. His next venture, the black comedy "Reality," also won the same accolade, while ambitious portmanteau film "Tale of Tales" (2015) saw Garrone embrace the English language and a cornucopia of Hollywood stars for the first time with equally acclaimed results.