Born in Biella (Italy) on February 20th 1950. After graduating in Modern Literature with a thesis on History and Criticism of Film at the University of Torino, he began his collaboration with the A.I.A.C.E. (the Italian association of Friends of Art-House Films), for which he served as president from 1977 to 1989.
From 1980 to 1983 he was the film critic for the daily newspaper “La Gazzetta del Popolo”, and since 1982 he is a member of the Journalists Guild. He has collaborated with many daylies and magazines (Città, La Stampa, Essai, Altro Cinema, Bianco & Nero, Cineforum), television and radio programs as CinemaScoop (RAI 3), La lampada di Aladino (RAI - DSE), Hollywood Party (Radio3 RAI).
In 1985, he co-directed a documentary, Cineasti del Nord-Ovest (Filmmakers from the North-West) for RAI 3.
In 1982 he began his collaboration with the Festival Internazionale Cinema Giovani (now Torino Film Festival), first as Head of the Press Office (1982), then as Secretary General and Programmer from 1984 to 1988. From 1989 to 1998, he served as Director of the same festival.
From December 1998 to April 2002 he was the Director of the Venice International Film Festival. From 2002 to 2006 he served as co-director of “RING! Festival of Film Criticism” in Alessandria.
In 2002, he started to work as a consultant for the Museo Nazionale del Cinema in Torino. Since June 2004 till December 2016 he was its Director.
From 2008 till 2016, he was the President of the Advisory Board of the TorinoFilmLab.
In 2010, he served as a jury member for the main competition of the Cannes Film Festival (Tim Burton, President of the Jury).
Since 2012, he is again the Director of the Venice International Film Festival.
He was the curator of many temporary exhibitions at the National Cinema Museum:
Sulle strade di Kiarostami. Cinema, Fotografia, Video, Poesia (18 September-12 October 2003)
L’estetica dello sguardo. L’arte di Luchino Visconti (5 October-3 December 2006)
La collezionista. Carol Bellaiche, fotografa ai Cahiers du cinéma (15 November 2007-3 February 2008)
Segni di vita. Werner Herzog e il cinema (15 January-10 February 2008)
Marco Ferreri (3 April-2 June 2008)
Il cinema di Roman Polanski (24 September-8 December 2008)
Uomini contro. Il cinema di Francesco Rosi (16 December2008-2 February 2009)
Rebels. Marlon Brando, Anthony Quinn (17 June-19 September 2010)
Noi credevamo (10 March-15 May 2011)
In addition, he curated the following exhibitions:
Cinema! Storie, protagonisti, paesaggi (Rovigo, Palazzo Roverella, 24 March - 1 July 2018)
Il Cinema in Mostra. Volti e Immagini dalla Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia 1932-2018 (Hotel des Bains, 26 August - 16 September 2018)
Erich von Stroheim (Aiace, Torino, 1975)
François Truffaut (Il Castoro Cinema, La Nuova Italia, Firenze, 1976),
Leggere il cinema (co-edited with Roberto Turigliatto, Oscar Studio Mondadori, Milano, 1979),
Hitchcock e gli hitchcockiani (Aiace, Torino, 1985),
Michael Snow (Festival Int. Cinema Giovani, Torino, 1986),
Dennis Hopper (co-edited with Davide Ferrario, Aiace, Torino, 1988),
Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Lindau, Torino, 1996),
Kiarostami (Electa, Milano, 2003),
Cavalcarono insieme. 50 anni di cinema e televisione in Italia (Electa, Milano, 2004)
Cabiria (Il Castoro, Milano, 2006),
Noi credevamo (Il Castoro, Milano, 2011).
Cinema Neorealista (Silvana Editoriale, Milano, 2015)
Cinema! Storie, protagonisti, paesaggi (Silvana Editoriale, Milano 2018)
Il Cinema in Mostra. Volti e Immagini dalla Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica di Venezia 1932-2018 (Edizioni La Biennale di Venezia, 2018)