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Was born in Asmara Eritrea and lived in Istanbul, New York, Los Angeles and Rome. After attending university in Italy in 1985 he moved to N.Y. where he graduated from New York University Film School.

He has produced, directed and photographed: Boatman. Shot in India, it was acclaimed by the International film circuit and critics. Awarded prize for best documentary at the Hawaii International Film Festival it was nominated for the grand prize of the Jury at the Sundance Film Festival 1994.

Below Sea Level, which he also produced directed and photographed, premiered in Venice international film festival 08 and won the ORIZZONTI AWARD and the Doc.It Award. At Cinema Du Reel 09 he won the GRAND PRIX and the PRIX DES JEUNNE. The film was nominated at the 2009 European Film Accademy Awards.

El Sicario, Room 164, produced by Arte and Les film d’Ici, won the International Critics Award (Fipresci Award) at the 2010 Venice Int. Film Festival, the Audience Award at Viennale 2010, Best Film Award at Lisboa Doc 2010 and DocAviv 2011. The film is theatrically distributed in Europe and U.S.

Holy GRA, won the Golden Lion at the 70th Venice International Film Festival.

He is a guest lecturer at New York University Film School, the CCC in Mexico City, Centro Sperimentale in Rome and at SUPSI in Switzerland. He is currently teaching documentary at Haute Ecole d’Art – Geneva University.


Holy GRA . 2013

El Sicario – Room 164 . 2010

Below Sea Level . 2008

Face addict as DP . 2004

Afterwords . 2001

Boatman . 1993

Vaudeville (short) . 1987

Roosevelt Island (short) . 1986

Coney Island (short) . 1985

Car Wash (short) . 1985




HOLY GRA . 2013

70ma Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia – Golden Lion
Festival di Siviglia – Best film at Giraldillo de Plata
Nastri d’argento – Special prize
Zagreb Dox – Best documentary

EL SICARIO – ROOM 164 . 2010

67ma Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia – Fipresci Award (Best film intenational Critics award)
67ma Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia - Biografilm Festival Award
DOC Award -
  Best documentary
DOC Lisboa Festival -  Best Film Award
VIENNALE - Special mention, Audience Award
DOCAVIV - Best film Award
Open City London documentary Fest - Best film Award


65ma Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia - Orizzonti Doc Award, Doc-it Award (best doc. of the festival), Lancia World Award (best film of the festival)
Bellaria Film Festival- Anteprima doc – Casa Rossa Doc di Bellaria Award – Best italian documentary
Cinéma du Réel – Grand Prix and Prix des Jeunes
One World Film Festival di Praga – Grand Prix Best film Award
Bif&st – Vittorio De Seta Award
Bellaria Film Festival – Best Italian doc
Salina DOC. Film Festival – Audience Award
Bif&st -  Vittorio De Seta Award
Festival Belgrade - MAGNIFICENT 7 at European feature Doc.

European Film Academy Awards

BOATMAN . 1994

Sundance Film Festival – New directors/ New Film the Film Society of Lincoln Center - Nomination for the Grand Jury Award
Hawaii International Film Fest – Best Film
Bombay International Film Fest – Best First Film
Parnu International Fest – Best Film Award
Hong Kong International Fest – Outstanding Film
Cinema du Reel – Jury Special Mention
IDFA - Jury Special Mention
Montreal World Film Fest - Jury Special Mention
Festival dei Popoli - Miglior film