On the occasion of Italian Heritage and Culture Month, dedicated this year to Italian Women in America: Breaking Barriers.
A conversation with author and director Gabriella Belloni, presenting her book My American Dream paired with the screening of a brief documentary about her, produced by the Italian national TV (RAI), running 25 minutes, as part of the series Le ragazze del '68 [The Women of 1968].
Born in Rome, Gabriella Belloni moved to New York City in 1970. While studying at New York University's Film School, she joined the avant-garde video group Global Village, collaborating on the controversial documentary “Remember Attica”. Prior to coming to the US, she had worked as a photo reporter for the weekly magazine “Ciao 2001” covering political events (sush as the Russian invasion of Prague) as well as musical ones (such as the Isle of Wight rock festival where she met Jim Morrison who encouraged her to follow her dreams).
The friendship with director Roberto Rossellini inspired her to embrace the art of cinema. Before moving to Los Angeles, she took her 16-mm. camera and explored the life of Native Americans by living in a Navajo reservation. Her short film aired on Italian TV. After working on the movie “Steppenwolf”, she met Francis Ford Coppola and worked on the film “The Godfather II”. In Los Angeles, she worked as story editor for Dino De Laurentiis, and collaborateed with directors such as Oliver Stone and Terrence Malick. In 1980, she became producing correspondent for RAI – the Italian national television - covering the Academy Awards ceremony, and producing a documentary on the gangs of LA, as well as a series of intimate portraits of America’s greatest stars.
She returned to Italy in 2001 and to this day works for RAI as director.