Steven Ball
Marie Craven
Solrun Hoaas
Daryl Dellora

Melbourne independent filmmakers

Leo Berkeley
Giorgio Mangiamele
Michael Buckley
Moira Joseph

Giorgio Mangiamele
b. August 13, 1926, Catania, Italy.
d. May 13, 2001, Melbourne, Australia.

Page compiled by Graeme Cutts, film historian.
Thanks to Rosemary Mangiamele for images.

BIOGRAPHY:   Giorgio Mangiamele studied Fine Arts in Catania, Italy; Film Production at the Polizia Scientifica, Rome, Italy; and journalism in the Faculty of Journalism, Pro-Deo University in Rome, Italy.


He emigrated to Australia in 1952, and became a Naturalised Australian citizen in 1957. Soon after arrival in Australia, he set up a photographic studio in Carlton, and started making films. In the late fifties he took over a cinema school in Russell Street, Melbourne, which had run into difficulties, and which later he shifted to his photographic/film studio in Carlton.

Between 1979 and 1982, he held a contract with the PNG Government, Prime Minister's Department, making five films and thereby basically establishing a PNG Film Unit. Over the next years, until his death, he worked on various unfulfilled scripts, mainly one finally known as Sogeri Road.


CRITICAL OVERVIEW:   Giorgio said that in film there is a timing, that everything has to be just right, and as well that places and their events always suggest themselves to him. So it is no surprise that his work ranges from the cinema verite style of Il Contratto (before the Nagra was available and the term was coined), through the neo-realist documentary style of his other migrant films, to the magic of Clay, with a dash of pragmatism, particularly in Boys in the Age of Machines, and in the PNG films. In Giorgio's films the breeze blows in and from Carlton, to and from Eltham and the PNG: leaves, light, movement, stillness, beauty and truth are the stuff of Giorgio's films.

Graeme Cutts, May 2003

See also Some notes on the films of Giorgio Mangiamele by Graeme Cutts

And The adventure of Clay compiled by Bill Mousoulis

The Brothers

Il Contratto (1953, 92 mins, B&W, 16mm), unfinished.

Unwanted (ca 1957, B&W, 16mm), lost.

The Brothers (1958, 20 mins, B&W, 16mm)

The Spag (1960, 25 mins, B&W, 16mm)
unreleased version of the film, with different actors/storyline

The Spag (1962, 37 mins, B&W, 16mm)

Ninety Nine Per Cent (1963, 41 mins, B&W, 16mm)

Boys in the Age of Machines (1964, 20 mins, COL, 16mm)

Clay (1965, 84 mins, B&W, 35mm)

Beyond Reason (1970, 79 mins, COL, 35mm)

Papua New Guinea Joins the Silk World (1979, 22 mins, COL, 16mm)

South Pacific Festival of Arts (1980, 65 mins, COL, 16mm)

"Living Museum" (1980, 34 mins, COL, 35mm)

The Caring Crocodile (1981, 13 mins, COL, 16mm)


Sapos... (1982, 54 mins, COL, 35mm)

As cinematographer, and director of photography:

Sebastian the Fox (12 out of 13 episodes), directed by Tim Burstall, (1962-1963, each 11 mins, B&W, 35mm)

The Crucifixion: Bas Reliefs in Silver by Matcham Skipper, directed by Tim Burstall, (1963, 11 mins, B&W, 35mm)

On Three Moon Creek: Australian Paintings by Gil Jamieson, directed by Tim Burstall (1963, 7 mins, COL, 35mm)


Winner of the Silver Award, Silver Medallion and Kodak Silver Trophy at the Australian Film Awards Competition in 1965 for Clay.

Winner of an Honorable Mention at the Australian Film Awards Competition for Ninety Nine Per Cent in 1963.

Winner of an Honorable Mention at the Australian Film Awards Competition for The Spag in 1962.

DVD release:

The Giorgio Mangiamele Collection. 5 Films and interviews on 2 DVDs : Il Contratto; The Spag (unreleased); The Spag (released); Ninety Nine Per Cent; and Clay. By Ronin Films, in collaboration with the National Film and Sound Archives. 2011.

The Giorgio Mangiamele Collection (2011)

Films featuring Mangiamele:

Nigel Buesst's 2003 documentary Carlton + Godard = Cinema features extracts from Giorgio's films, and interviews with Giorgio and Graeme Cutts.

Three clips of Giorgio's films were used in the 2013 film Lygon Street - Si Parla Italiano, directed by Angelo Pricolo and Shannon Swann.

Clips from Il Contratto, and an interview with actress Halina Kisilevski, feature in the 2017 video installation Hem of Memory, directed by Ettore Siracusa.

Clips of Giorgio's films, with a focus on their locations in Melbourne, are in the 2019 film Reel Streets of Melbourne - Giorgio Mangiamele, directed by Paul Hagl. (entire film is below)

Reel Streets of Melbourne - Giorgio Mangiamele (2018)



Australian Film, 1900-1977, Ross Cooper & Andrew Pike (OUP, 1978).

"Giorgio Mangiamele", Interview by Graeme Cutts, Cinema Papers, Number 90, October 1992.

"Giorgio", Quentin Turnour, Cteq: Annotations on Film 4/97, in Metro No.112, 1997.

"Giorgio Mangiamele - Passionate filmmaker, 13 Aug 1926 - 13 May 2001", Scott Murray, The Age, May 22, 2001.

"Farewell to a passionate poet of the image", and "Mangiamele's last interview", Rob Ditessa, Italy down under, No.6, Spring 2001.

"Envisioning the Italian Migrant Experience Down Under: Giorgio Mangiamele, Poet of the Image", Raffaele Lampugnani, Italian Historical Society Journal, Volume 10, No. 1, January-June 2002.


Celluloid Immigrant - Italian Australian Filmmaker Giorgio Mangiamele.
Authors : Gaetano Rando and Gino Moliterno.
Publishing : The Moving Image Number 10, 2011 by ATOM.

Giorgio Mangiamele Cinematographer of The Italian Migrant Experience.
Author : Raffaele Lampugnani
Publisher: Connor Court Publishing Company Pty Ltd. 2012.

Web Resources:

"A Profile of Giorgio Mangiamele", Alex Castro, Senses of Cinema, Issue No.4, March 2000.

"Giorgio", Quentin Turnour, Senses of Cinema, Issue No.14, June 2001. Longer version of the above item.

"Giorgio Mangiamele - Passionate filmmaker, 13 Aug 1926 - 13 May 2001", Scott Murray. Reprinting of the above item, in Senses of Cinema, Issue No.14, June 2001.

Comedy and Humour, Stereotypes and the Italian Migrant in Mangiamele's Ninety Nine Per Cent (PDF document), Raffaele Lampugnani, Fulgor, Vol.3, Issue 1, December 2006.

Wikipedia page on Mangiamele.

Mangiamele profile on Australian Screen website by Graham Shirley.

Who is behind the camera? The cinema of Giorgio Mangiamele, by Silvana Tuccio, 2009.

Giorgio Mangiamele’s Clay and the Beginnings of Art Cinema in Australia, by Gino Moliterno, 2011.

Celluloid Immigrant: Italian Australian Filmmaker Giorgio Mangiamele, book review by Geoffrey Gardner, 2012.

Giorgio Mangiamele. Cinematographer of the Italian Migrant Experience, book review by Federico Passi, 2013.

© Graeme Cutts and Bill Mousoulis, May 2003 - Feb 2019.

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Melbourne independent filmmakers is compiled by Bill Mousoulis