Irene Bignardi was born and educated in Milan, where she graduated in modern literature, and studied Communications at Stanford University with a Fulbright Fellowship. She has worked as a cultural journalist for La Repubblica, since the inception of the daily newspaper in 1976, and from 1989-2000 she was head of its film critics’ team. Prior to that from 1979-89, she wrote a column of film criticism for the weekly l’Espresso. From 1986-89, she was the director of MystFest, the International Film Festival of Film Noir in Cattolica, Italy and from 1992-94 she worked in the Venice Film Festival with Gillo Pontecorvo as head of the Venetian Nights with Giorgio Gosetti. From 2001-05, she helmed the Locarno International Film Festival.
For many years Ms. Bignardi has contributed on cultural programs and documentaries for the Italian Public Television, Rai. She is the author of two documentaries written for Gianfranco Mingozzi, with Francesca Bertini, L’Ultima diva and Bellissimo (on Italian cinema) and several essays, some of which are included in the books Il declino dell’Impero Americano, 50 registi e 101 film (Feltrinelli, 1996); Memorie estorte ad uno smemorato, vita di Gillo Pontecorvo (Feltrinelli, 1999); Le piccole utopie (Feltrinelli, 2003); and Americani (Marsilio, 2005). Ms. Bignardi has served on many international cinema juries including San Sebastian, Un certain Régard in Cannes, Chicago and Sundance. She reads History of Cinema at the Master program of Clast, in Venice IUAV (School of Architecture), and has been honoured as Commendatore della Repubblica Italiana, Italy’s highest civilian honor by decree of the President.
Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, March 2006