Monica Manganelli – Film&Stage&Creative Director, Scenographer/Visual artist for Theatre/Opera House, Film production, Events and Cultural Exhibition

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DIRECTOR, DESIGNER and WRITER MONICA MANGANELLI‘s visually arresting work is usually known for the intersection of theater, opera and film, for its cinematic elegance, abstract yet visceral staging, and a multidisciplinary merging of narrative heft, visual dramaturgy and design. Her Current projects as director, visual/video & set designer include new films, debuts and performing arts productions that continue to blur and explore the lines between film, visual art and music-opera.


Biography: Born in Parma (ltaly) in 1977, studied Architecture at the Institute of Art (Bachelor in Architecture). In 2002 she graduated from the Parma University with an Academic Degree in  Conservation of Cultural Heritage  (ART HISTORY and ARCHITECTURE’s Specialization). She followed an additional year specializing with a Postgraduate Academic Degree in “Theater’s Set Design” and a Master in Cad Design e Computer Graphics in Reggio Emilia (2002-2003).

In this period she began to work as Set Designer and Concept-Visual Artist for many productions since 2001 to 2011 for prestigious Opera House in Italy and Europe among: Rigoletto, Theatre Marijnski-St. PetersburgL ‘Impresario delle Smirne, Theatre StabileTurinSamson et Dalila, Theatre Comunale Bologna/Opera Royal de Wallonie, Fahrenheit 451, Director Luca Ronconi, Theatre Stabile Turin; Ercole sul Termodonte, Agrippina, Theatre La Fenice Venice; Don Pasquale, Der Wampir, Theatre Comunale Bologna, The Consul, Theatre RegioTurin. Monica  also collaborated with the Director Davide Livermore for the preparation of Scenic and Visual/Set design of following works : Billy Budd (Season 2004-05), Aci Galatea e Polifemo (Season 2008-09), ldomeneo (Season 2010-11), I Vespri Siciliani (Season 2011-12), productions by Theatre Regio Turin.


Then  Monica moved also in the FILM PRODUCTION definetely (2006), and now she is  also specialized as VFX Art Director/Concept Artist and Creative EventDesigner. 

She collaborated with different VFX-PostProduction Studios, Film Productions, Event Agency  in  Europe, working on many commercial spots, film and fashion show/ events for: EDI VFX (Milan), KOMPOST (Zurich), WARNER BROS (Chicago), TAX FREE FILM (Parma), Leo Burnett UK and PARTIZAN LONDON, BALICH WORLDWIDE SHOW, VILLA EUGENIE (Paris-Bruxelles). CREDITS:

CLOUD ATLAS (2012): Movie Production by Tom Tykwer, Andy and Lana Wachowski (Berlin-Babelsberg Studios), Production Design: Hugh Bateup, Uli Hanisch (2011-12).

COMMERCIALS SPOT/VFX art director (2009-2017):  Sammontana, Adidas, Armani,  X_ Factor, SkyTV, Tim “Survivor’, Q8, Lancia, Mediolanum, Neutro Roberts, Wind Mobile, Oro Saywa, Seaworld, Tim “Internet pack”, Tim “Monalisa”, “BBC-Mass Construction”, Lancia Delta, Lancia Musa, Lamborghini, Tim-Marco Polo, Tim Casanova, TrafficJam-Zain/TV, BMW, Wolswagen, Ansaldo Breda-Expo Milan 2015, Mirabilandia, Rado, Ferrero , Richmond, Tic Tac etc….

VILLA EUGENIE (2012-13) (Bruxelles) by Creative Director Etienne Russo: SCENOGRAPHER-CONCEPT/VISUAL ARTIST for fashion show and events; Credits: Dior Homme (Paris), Y3, Farley (New York), FIE Event- Grand Palais (Paris).

MILAN FASHION WEEK (2013): Scenographer/Set Designer – Art Director for fashion show and events by Vogue-Condenast and some fashion brands (BORBONESE, MEISSEN, ETRO) ecc..

In 2013 she signed at BMF- Bejiing Music Festival (China) as Scenographer-Art Director  the virtual multimedia scenography for the Verdi’s Anniversary Celebration project (Traviata, Rigoletto, Trovatore).

In 2014 she collaborated with Event Creative Director Marco Balich and his creative team for the event show OPERA ON ICE at the ARENA of VERONA and other events projects.


CURRENT and UPCOMING/FUTURE PROJECTS: Now she is focusing on projects regarding  DIRECTION & Dramaturgy & Creative Visual Design in film productions, music-opera house productions and fashion show/cultural events.

She signed in 2015 as film director her first short animated film: The BALLAD of the HOMELESS (La Ballata dei SenzaTetto ) with the co-production of Emilia Romagna Film Commission. Short selected in about 50 international film festival, won prestigious awards among:

BEST ANIMATION-Los Angeles SHORTS FEST for qualifying shortlist Academy Award, Oscar 2016,
BEST FILM EUROPE and BEST FILM WORLD Anim’Arte Animation festival Brazil, (2015)
BEST MUSIC and AUDIENCE AWARDATHENS Animation Film festival (2016).
SPECIAL PRIZE for ANIMATION – ITALIAN SILVER RIBBON 2016 (Nastri d’ argento-Italian critics award).
BEST ANIMATED ECO FILM, Golden Kuker Animation Film Festival (2016)
Candidated for  “David di Donatello”-Italian  Film Academy award: category BEST SHORT (2016).

Monica has been creative&film director for virtual-digital videoinstallations on different cultural projects, including:
Virtual set design for permanent exhibition to Cinecittà studios, client: Cinecittà Studios Rome (2017)
– Immersive video installation for exhibition “Umbria and cinema” , client: CariPerugiaArte Foundation at Baldeschi Palace in Perugia (2016).
Immersive video installation at Rocca Paolina (into medieval fortress) in Perugia – Italy, client: Culture Department – City of Perugia. (2017).

Monica signed the set design and videoscenography for the Opera House Seasons 2016-20 for many theatrical opera productions:


IL TURCO IN ITALIA by Rossini, Aslico co-production by THEATRE FRASCHINI PAVIA-OPERA HOUSE, THEATRE PONCHIELLI-CREMONA, THEATRE SOCIALE-COMO, with completely virtual-animated set design.

 –AIDA by Theatre Carlo Felice-Genova Opera House. She signed the stage design/videoscenography a new innovative opera production, for the opening season 2018-19, completely with virtual set design (vfx/virtual design).

In 2019, Monica completed, as film director, BUTTERFLIES IN BERLIN (animated docu-drama film) about Homocaust, set up during the 30’s and 40’s in Berlin, in collaboration with RAI CINEMA and EMILIA ROMAGNA FILM COMMISSION. Film screened at prestigious worldwide film festivals (90+)  and winner of illustrious awards (25+), with a great critical and public consensus.

She is now in production as film director for her first feature animated film, TURANDOT-Princess of China , and she is developing her first live action film THE OPERA SON.

Moreover in 2021-2022, Monica will sign the Direction/dramaturgy, set and videoscenography, for new productions, in the field of multidisciplinary arts:

-THE ATLAS OF WONDERS an immersive performing arts project in digital-VR, where Bach’s music meets the animation techniques/video design and new technologies for Teatro Coccia Novara.
-THE COLORS OF WAR, an immersive video installation about Women in War (Arcts Foundation-2021/2022).


She performs regularly teaching at master classes and workshops (about SET DESIGN-CGI-Virtual Set design/VFX and PERFORMING ARTS) including Cinecitta’ Studios, the Italian Opera School at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Toschi Institute of Art-Parma, IED Milan, CoopFolias, Italian National School of Cinema-CSC (Animation Department). She has been professor at the University of Parma, regarding “Scenography and new technologies whitin creative industries(course 2016-17).

She was awarded in 2015 the Prize San Martino for artistic merit by the city of Noceto (PR) with the following motivation: “For a versatile and highly innovative artist who has achieved prestigious international awards, proving to be able to combine the talented professional skills developed with passionate determination, a sensitivity able to translate reality into stories and striking images of authentic poetry, open to messages of courage, solidarity and hope “.

In 2018, Monica was invited as special guest-speaker (only european woman) by Iranian National School of Cinema  in collaboration with Iranian Culture Ministry for the international conference, on the subject of “Cinema in the Digital Age”, to talk about Interdisciplinary of the arts: Skills/Experiences- oriented relations between cinema and other artistic fields such as theater, exhibitions, animation and video-installation in the digital age”.

In 2020 she was invited among the speakers of the Conference organized by the University of Salerno and Linea D’Ombra Festival regarding: “ECONOMIC AND DIGITAL AUDIOVISUAL CULTURES, between alliances and conflicts”.