Max Chicco was born in October 1968.
Having graduated from the University of Turin in Cinema History and Criticism, in 1992 he was selected by Daniele Segre’s Cammelli Factory for participation in the Social Documentation Video Master program funded by the European Union. Chicco profited from this opportunity, creating documentaries that were broadcast by Rai Tre (“L’isola di Walter” and “Amavo la Fiat”) and participating in the filming of a collective documentary “Crotone Italia” directed by Daniele Segre and produced by Rai Tre in collaboration with the National Office of CGIL (the Italian General Confederation of Labour).
In 1994 he completed his first 16mm film, entitled “Lunedi mattina,” which was awarded the Quality Prize by the Ministry of Culture. In 1994 he also directed a documentary, “Il Sig. Rossi prese il fucile,” produced by Palomar for Mixer, a TV program by Giovanni Minoli, and that same year he won first prize at the Torino Film Festival Spazio Italia. In 1995, Chicco founded his own production company in Turin, Meibi, with which he has produced most of his most significant works (shorts, documentaries and a feature film).
From 1996 to 1998, he produced and directed a series of 35mm shorts that were presented at festivals and distributed on an exclusive basis by the Bologna-based distribution company Vitagraph (Sospetto, Decibel, Topi d’Albergo). During the same period, he filmed a number of corporate videos for brands such as Martini & Rossi, Ramazzotti, Pernod Richard, Lovable, Paravia, Italfer Spa. In 1999, he joined, as a director, Rai Sat’s production staff, and, in particular, worked for Rai Sat Show (dance-music), Rai Sat Cinema, Rai Sat Premium (fiction), and also authored special TV programs and documentaries (Vertigo News, Magazine Tv, Città che danzano, Chi è di scena?). That year he began producing a rich series of documentaries, travelling all over Italy to narrate stories and make portraits of people who had lived extraordinary lives.
In collaboration with the Archives of the Worker and Democratic Movement, he directed and produced two documentaries on historic/social issues: “Volevano portarci via le stelle” narrating the story of partisan fighter Marisa Scala (and the trial, after forty years in hiding, of the ‘Butcher of Bolzano’ Misha Seifert), and “I nuovi gladiatori,” the story of young engineers who cannot find a job. Thanks to this experience he was able to work with author-director Ansano Giannarelli (a pupil of Zavattini). In 2000, in collaboration with Rai Trade, he wrote and directed a virtual reality experimental program, entitled “Cartoons on the Bay,” that he filmed at the Turin Multimedia Park mixing 2D and 3D animated cartoons with live action. In 2001 he moved to New York and attended a Filmmaking Master program at the New York Film Academy. His end-of-course short “Chocolate and Flowers” was the recipient, the following year, of the Cinecittà International Digital Award.
On 11 September 2001 he was in Manhattan and from that experience of pain and desolation stemmed “Twin Towers: an American Tragedy,” shown at the Toronto Reel World Film Fest in 2001 and distributed by the Los Angeles-based O2C company. In New York he worked in Broadway, filming TV specials for Rai Sat, “Broadway on stage” and “Dance Step Off Broadway” (15 episodes directly from the musicals), and two documentaries on Indie cinema in New York, “Lloyd Kaufman: un tycoon a Tromaville” and “Cinema Indipendente a New York”. Since 2004, with Meibi he has directed and produced a series of corporate videos for Regione Piemonte and the Tourist Board, including “Viaggio nella terra delle Langhe”, “Tartufo, un tesoro nel tempo” and “Il Conte di Cavour”, mini-films that combine documentation, fiction and advertising messages. These films were distributed on DVDs in seven languages.
In 2006, on the occasion of the Turin Olympics, he produced with Rai Sat Premium “ItalyArt: le Olimpiadi della Cultura”. That same year, he made his debut in feature film production by directing “Saddam,” which was distributed as a home video by Millennium Storm, and shown in movie theatres with the Essai Film Certification. This film, which preceded by a few years the flood of reality shows that have now invaded our lives, relied on the collaboration of actor Frank Adonis (Raging Bulls, GoodFellas) and DP Mladen Matula.
He continued to collaborate with satellite channel Rai Sat Cinema, and in 2008 was chosen by Current Tv (a channel founded by Al Gore the year before) to direct a series of Pods (short portraits) which were aired on Sky 130. In this manner, he became a regular director for this channel and was able to produce a series of inquiry videos: “Psicofarmaci ai bambini” (in collaboration with Alberto Coletta) and “Agenzie investigative in Italia”. During 2009-2011 he directed “Seven,” an audiovisual on eco-sustainable wine production in Piedmont, funded by the Ministry of Production Activities, the EU, and Antica Cantina di Canelli. This project enabled him to show his works at the Shanghai Expo in 2010 and at the United Nations in New York (22 September 2010). In 2011, he created an audiovisual for artist Michelangelo Pistoletto who was performing in Bordeaux; this work was produced by the Biella-based organisation Cittàdellarte.
In 2012, in collaboration with Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Alessandria and the Chamber of Commerce, he produced “Storie del Monferrato” three short films noir (of which he directed one) describing the Monferrato region from a non conventional viewpoint. In recent years, he has directed a series of corporate spots for various brands, e.g., Born in Turin, Fisac, Movie on Demand, Libero, and has organized courses in the making of audiovisuals at the request of Intesa San Paolo. In Turin he founded the campusCinema.it – a television and film training program whose aim is to foster the development of top-notch professional in this field.