Antonio Monda is a film critic, journalist, novelist, and curator of Le Conversazioni and The Rome Film Festival, two of the world’s preeminent cultural events. He is highly sought after speaker and moderator, known for his provocative views on classic films and his uncanny ability to draw unique insights from the most celebrated artists across many disciplines- from actors to architects. His stories and experiences provide his audiences with an unforgettable look at the world of film and art from an utterly unique perspective.
“As an interviewer, Monda has a light touch and a penchant for asking direct existential questions in the European manner: ‘Do you think images are replacing the written word?’ ‘Are you a pessimist or an optimist?’ ...He’s a vivid exemplar of Italy’s baroque rhetorical culture, in which playfully meandering discussion is often prized over conclusions.” -- The New York Times Book Review
Monda quickly became fascinated by the city’s rich literary and artistic history, amassing a body of knowledge that outstrips many who have lived there for a lifetime. He produced a documentary on the Jewish-American experience, interviewing Elie Wiesel and Arthur Miller, among others. He now regularly appears in venues around the New York as part of Le Conversazioni, a global literary festival he co-founded in 2006, that culminates each year on the island of Capri, where he has hosted the most famous writers in the world, including Zadie Smith, Don DeLillo, Jonathan Franzen, Marilynne Robinson, David Foster Wallace, Donna Tartt, Marlon James, Gary Shteyngart, Jonathan Safran Foer, Michael Chabon, EL Doctorow, Elizabeth Strout, Colum McCann, and Daniel Libeskind, among many others. The festival has expanded from Italy and New York to Bogota, featuring Jeffery Eugenides and Lila Azam Zangeneh.
Born in Rome, Monda came to New York in 1994 as a writer for the major Italian Newspaper, La Repubblica and soon joined the faculty at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts, a position he holds to this day. He directed several documentaries and a feature film, Dicembre. He has also appeared in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic, and the film’s DVD contains a rollicking conversation between Monda, Anderson and Noah Baumbach for a talk show-styled segment called “Mondo Monda.” As part of the Rome Film Festival, of which he is now Artistic Director, Monda created and hosted a series called “A Journey into American Cinema,” a series of live conversations with directors such as Terrence Malick, Sydney Pollack, Francis Ford Coppola, David Lynch, Spike Lee, the Cohen Brothers and Tim Burton.
Monda is also the author of nine novels, and this year will see the publication of the English translation of The Unworthy, from Nan A Talese Books. Monda’s previous titles include The Beautiful Illusion: A Journey Through American Movies and Do You Believe? Conversations on God and Religion.