Venice 79, Franco Zeffirelli

Franco Zeffirelli – Rebel Conformistthe new docufilm by Anselma Dell’Olio about the iconic Italian director of timeless classics such as The Taming of the Shrew (1967), Romeo and Juliet (1968) and A tea with Mussolini (1999), was selected in competition at the 79th Venice International Film Festival in the “Venezia Classici” section.

Plot and cast

“Franco Zeffirelli – Rebel Conformist” is a docufilm that will tell the decisive moments, the turning points, the roller coaster of a brilliant, eventful international career and the daring human existence of a great Italian artist. A great protagonist object of honors, hosannas and harsh criticism even today.

With the contributions of Giancarlo Antognoni, Adriana Asti, Urbano Barberini, Roberto Bolle, Fabio Canessa, Valerio Cappelli, Marina Cicogna, Sinéad Cusack, Caterina D’Amico, Tommaso D’Amico, Placido Domingo, Titti Foti, Raimonda Gaetani, Marco Gandini, Massimo Ghini, Giancarlo Giannini, Vittorio Grigolo, Jeremy Irons, Maurizio Millenotti, Andrea Minuz, Dario Nardella, Daniel Oren, Francesco Papa, Gianni Quaranta, Riccardo Tozzi, Luca Verdone, Alessio Vlad, Pippo Zeffirelli.


  • “Franco Zeffirelli – Rebel Conformist” is written and directed by Anselma Dell’Olio, author of two famous retrospectives on two great masters of the past: Fellini of the Spirits on Federico Fellini e The Lucid Madness by Marco Ferreri which earned her the David di Donatello for Best Documentary.
  • Franco Zeffirelli, who passed away in Rome on 15 June 2019, has won 5 David di Donatello (including a special David for Lifetime Achievement) and received two Oscar nominations for Best Director in 1969 for Romeo and Juliet and for Best Set Design in 1983 for La Traviata .
  • The film is produced by Francesca Verdini with Pietro Peligra and made with the patronage of the Zeffirelli Onlus Foundation. The Franco Zeffirelli Foundation was born in Florence in 2017 at the behest of the Maestro who wanted to donate to his city and to the whole world the artistic heritage created in seventy years of career and composed of drafts, storyboards, models, costumes, set photos and multimedia sets and installations. The Foundation contains within it the museum, the archive and the library. Inside it carries out training activities in the field of show business through the International Center for the Performing Arts.
  • “Franco Zeffirelli – Rebel Conformist” is a La Casa Rossa and RS Productions production in collaboration with RAI Cinema.

Production notes


Beautiful as a Hollywood star, from his origins as the son of NN he has risen to global fame as a director, art director, painter, creator of cinema, theater and opera. The project will be embellished with original and vintage interviews with the most acclaimed stars who have known, admired and loved it, including Maria Callas, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Anna Magnani, and with family members, friends and collaborators. close. There will be clips from his films and documentaries, from his operas, and archive materials, photos, drawings and much more, will weave an engaging story that will do justice to the person and the artist – not just “the Master” – in all its multifaceted and even opposing facets. The dualistic character of him is manifested in his vast artistic production, but also in his political choices, in his spirituality and love for mystery, in friendships and in the legendary controversies with critical opponents. This clash of opposites will offer a well-rounded portrait, with continuous ups and downs, of an artist who has promoted and honored the highest and most popular Italian culture in the great world capitals for many decades. A great protagonist object of honors, hosannas and harsh criticism even today. All this and much more is “Franco Zeffirelli – Rebel Conformist”.

Venice 79, Franco Zeffirelli – Rebel Conformist: plot and previews of the doc in Competition in Venice Classics