Paolo Virzì was born in Livorno on 4th March 1964. He spent his early years in Turin, Piedmont, but grew up in the Sorgenti district of Livorno.
Having studied Literature and Philosophy for a time at the University of Pisa, Virzì moved to Rome where he frequented the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. It was here that he met Furio Scarpelli, a teacher at the school, who became his mentor and collaborator.
Virzì directed his first film in 1994. The original title of the film was Dimenticare Piombino, after the Tuscan town where the film was set, but its name was changed to La Bella Vita and starred Sabrina Ferilli and Massimo Ghini. The film was enthusiastically received at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, receiving the Ciak D'Oro, the Nastro D'Argento, and the David di Donatello awards as the best film of the year.
The Livornese director's success continued with his 1997 film entitled Ovo Sodo, which is the nickname by which Livorno's central rione is known. The film stars Edoardo Gabriellini, an actor 'discovered' by Virzì himself. Despite its very local flavour, Ovo Sodo was a great success, winning the Jury's award at the Venezia Film Festival (where Jane Champion was one of the judges), and after that Virzì has never looked back!
Subsequent films by Paolo Virzì
Baci e Abbracci (1999)
My Name is Tanino (2002)
Caterina va in Città (Caterina in the Big City) (2003)
N (Io e Napoleone) (Napoleon and Me) (2006)
Tutta la Vita Davanti (Your Whole Life Ahead of You) (2008)
La Prima Cosa Bella (The First Beautiful Thing) (2010)
Tutti i Santi Giorni (Every Blessed Day) (2012)
Il Capitale Umano (Human Capital) (2014)
La Pazza Gioia (Like Crazy) (2016)
The Leisure Seeker (2017)
Notti Magiche (Magical Nights) (2018)
In 2009 Virzì also made a documentary film about the Livornese singer-songwriter Bobo Rondelli entitled L'Uomo che aveva picchiato la Testa