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Pupi Avati

Giuseppe (Pupi) Avati is a director, producer and writer of mainly fantasy films and horror films.



Giuseppe Avati, better known as Pupi Avati, was born in Bologna on the 3th of November 1938. Before directing movies, he walked quite a strange path. After ending his study Political Science at the famous Bologna university, he took on work in a frozen food company and at the same time developed a passion for jazz, becoming an amateur musician.

But with the debut of his movie Blood Relations (1968) (Balsamus, l'uomo di Satana), a movie with a style that was then very unique in Italy, he stepped into the business of film-making. This first movie is also one of the few that he didn't write himself. A year later his second movie Thomas (1969) followed, though not released in Italy, and another five years later the bizarre La mazurka del barone, della santa e del fico fiorone (1974), a movie of which its style reminds us of the movies of Fellini by creating an almost fairytale-like atmosphere.

In 1975, Avati made the musical fantasy Bordella, which caused some commotion resulting in some censorship, and a year later he directed House with the Windows That Laugh (La casa dalle finestre che ridono) (1976), a movie set in the Po Valley, not far from his hometown Bologna. This movie was followed up with Tutti defunti...tranne i morti (1977), a black comedy with a theme very similar to his previous movie.

Avati then showed his ability to direct TV movies as well. It resulted in the two very successful dramas Jazz band (1978) and Cinema!!! (1979). Sharing the same theme, his next movies, for the cinemas again, were the fairytale-like Le strelle nel fosso (1979), the charming A School Outing (Una gita scolastica) (1983), We Three (Noi tre) (1984), about a part of the life of Mozart, the parable Graduation Party (Festa di laurea) (1985), and Story of Boys and Girls (Storia di ragazzi e ragazze) (1988) and Declarations of Love (Dichiarazioni d’amore) (1994).

Some of his most successful films were Impiegati (1985), Christmas Present (Regalo di Natale) (1986) and The Last Minute (Ultimo minuto) (1987). All these movies share a cruel and painful atmosphere, typical for Avati's movies.

His latest work, "Il cuore altrove" (2003), which received quite some nominations and an award (a David), showed that after all this time he still is at his best.


As a director

(w) signifies that the movie has been written by Pupi Avati as well

  • Balsamus l'uomo di Satana (1970) (Eng: Blood Relations)
  • Thomas e gli indemoniati (1970) (Eng: Thomas and the Bewitched) (w)
  • La mazurka del barone, della santa e del fico fiorone (1975) (w)
  • Bordella (1976) (Eng: House of Pleasure for Women) (w)
  • La casa dalle finestre che ridono (1976) (Eng: House with the Windows That Laugh) (w)
  • Tutti defunti... tranne i morti (1977) (w)
  • Le strelle nel fosso (1979) (w)
  • Aiutami a sognare (1981) (Eng: Help Me Dream) (w)
  • Dancing Paradise (1982) (w)
  • Zeder (1983) (w)
  • Una gita scolastica (1983) (Eng: A School Outing) (w)
  • Noi tre (1984) (Eng: We Three) (w)
  • Impiegati (1984) (w)
  • Festa di laurea (1985) (Eng: Graduation Party) (w)
  • Regalo di Natale (1986) (Eng: Christmas Present) (w)
  • Ultimo minuto (1987) (Eng: The Last Minute) (w)
  • Sposi (1987) (Eng: Bride and Groom) (first segment)
  • Storia di ragazzi e di ragazze (1989) (Eng: The Story of Boys and Girls) (w)
  • È proibito ballare (1989) (TV)
  • Bix (1991) (w)
  • Fratelli e sorelle (1991) (Eng: Brothers and Sisters) (w)
  • Magnificat (1993) (w)
  • L'amico d'infanzia (1994) (Eng: The Childhood Friend) (w)
  • Dichiarazioni d'amore (1994) (Eng: Declarations of Love) (w)
  • Voci notturne (1995) (mini) (Eng: Night Voices)
  • Festival (1996 (Italy)) (w)
  • L'arcano incantatore (1996) (Eng: The Mysterious Enchanter) (w)
  • Il testimone dello sposo (1998) (Eng: The Best Man) (w)
  • La via degli angeli (1999) (Eng: A Midsummer Night's Dance) (w)
  • I cavalieri che fecero l'impresa (2001) (The Knights of the Quest) (w)
  • Il cuore altrove (2003) (Eng: The Heart Is Elsewhere, also: The Heart Is Everywhere) (w)
  • La rivincita di Natale (2004) (Eng: Christmas Rematch) (w)
  • Ma quando arrivano le ragazze? (2004) (w)

As a writer (only)

  • Il Bacio (1974) (Eng: The Kiss)
    • (directed by: Mario Lanfranchi )
  • Cav. Costante Nicosia demoniaco, ovvero: Il Dracula in Brianza (1975) (Eng: Dracula in the Provinces)
  • Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (1976) (Eng: Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom) (uncredited)
  • La padrona è servita (1976) (Eng: The Boss Is Served)
    • (directed by: Mario Lanfranchi )
  • Macabro (1980) (Eng: Frozen Terror, also: Macabre)
    • (directed by: Lamberto Bava )
  • Dove comincia la notte (1991)
    • (directed by: Maurizio Zaccaro)
  • La stanza accanto (1994) (Eng: Bitter Chamber, also: The Room Next Door)
    • (directed by: Fabrizio Laurenti)

As a producer

  • Aiutami a sognare (1981) (see also: As a director)
  • Storia di ragazzi e di ragazze (1989) (see also: As a director)
  • Bix (1991) (see also: As a director)
  • Il Sindaco (1996) (Eng: The Mayor)
    • (dir. by: Ugo Fabrizio Giordani )
  • Caro domani (1999) (TV Series)
    • (dir. by: Mariantonio Avati )

Awards and Nominations

  • 1979: Golden Spike for Le strelle nel fosso (1979) (Valladolid Int. Film Festival)
  • 1983: Nomination for IFF Award for La casa dalle finestre che ridono (1976) (Fantasporto)
  • 1984: Silver Ribbon for Una gita scolastica (1983) (INS for Journalists)
    • (Best Director and Best Story)
  • 1985: Special Award 'FantaItaly' (Fantafestival)
  • 1986: Special Prize of the Jury for Noi tre (1984) (Istanbul International Film Festival)
  • 1990: Silver Ribbon for Storia di ragazzi e di ragazze (1989) (INS for Journalists)
    • (Best Director and Best Screenplay)
  • 1990: David for Storia di ragazzi e di ragazze (1989) (David di Donatello Awards)
    • (Best Screenplay)
  • 1991: Nomination for Golden Palm for Bix (1991) (Cannes Film Festival)
  • 1993: Nomination for Golden Palm for Magnificat (1993) (Cannes Film Festival)
  • 1995: Luchino Visconti Award (David di Donatello Awards)
  • 1997: Silver Ribbon for Festival (1996/I) (INS for Journalists)
    • (Best Producer)
  • 1998: Jury's Choice Award for L'arcano incantatore (1996) (Puchon Int. Fantastic Film Festival)
  • 1998: Silver Raven for L'arcano incantatore (1996) (Brussels Int. Festival of Fantasy Film)
  • 1998: Nomination for Golden Berlin Bear for Il testimone dello sposo (1996) (Berlin Int. Film Festival)
  • 2000: Nomination for Silver Ribbon for La via degli angeli (1999) (INS for Journalists)
    • Best Screenplay
  • 2000: Best Screenplay for La via degli angeli (1999) (Montreal World Film Festival)
  • 2000: Grand Prix des Amériques for La via degli angeli (1999) (Montreal World Film Festival)
  • 2003: Nominations for Il cuore altrove (2003) (INS for Journalists)
    • (Best Director and Best Original Story)
  • 2003: Nomination for Golden Palm for Il cuore altrove (2003) (Cannes Film Festival)
  • 2003: David for Il cuore altrove (2003) (David di Donatello Awards)
    • (Best Director)
  • 2004: Nomination for David for La rivincita di Natale (2004) (David di Donatello Awards)
    • (Best Director)

Internal Links to Film Festivals

See Also

External Links

Last updated: 02-26-2005 20:34:44