Marco Orsini is an activist, an award-winning writer, director and producer as well as a co-founder of the International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA) of Monaco. Marco began his career in 1995, producing, writing and directing live and pre-recorded programming for English and Spanish language network and cable television including Pax, Sony, WB, Fox Family and Telemundo.
Moving to film in 2001, Marco's first short, Mari-Conita De Jesus, toured the festivals before being included in Princeton’s Latin American Studies curriculum. In 2002, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers recognized Marco as an Up and Coming filmmaker.
Inspired by his own life, Marco's script, American Way, earned a place in Tribeca's inaugural All Access Program. Soon after, his 35mm short film, Un Dia en la Vida, premiered at Sundance, prior to being named Best Dramatic Short at the International Festival of Cinema and Technology in 2006.
Relocating to Monaco in 2001, Marco joined with local cineastes to create an organization supporting first-time filmmakers from the developing world. The IEFTA produced its first festival in May of 2007, screening 25 films from 21 countries.
In 2007, Marco traveled through Ethiopia documenting its extraordinary cultural history. His wry account of that expedition, The Reluctant Traveler, (Winner of the Audience Award at the Jacksonville International Film Festival) continues to fill theatres around the world and was picked up for distribution at MIPCOM in Cannes this past October.
Marco currently leads the IEFTA's Global Film Expression initiative in Ethiopia, focusing on filmmaker training and industry development. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Marco was raised on American military bases in the Far East. He works between homes in Monaco and Greece. Here are his replies to our two questions:
What Brings You Happiness?
Watching my family laugh, argue or cry. Originally from Puerto Rico, but now living abroad, I only get to see my family, which is quite large, once a year over Christmas. This is a great time for all of us. Mind you, it’s not always fun and joy, but we are together and that will not change as we pass the baton from one generation to the next.
Something more simple which brings happiness to me, is a strangers smile. I can be in the most miserable mood imaginable, step outside for a breath of fresh air and be ready to snap at the first person who looks at me funny. It never fails. That person always turns out to be someone who gives me positive energy, as if they were sent to me. They smile at me, specifically at me, melting my anger away. It’s the little acts of kindness people show daily that make a difference.
What Would You Change (If You Could) To Make Our World A Better Place?
I think the world would be a better place if people had the right to an education. We take for granted the ability to go through school growing up. We assume its normal that all kids growing up go to school. Well, they don’t. In many countries its either illegal or there are not enough resources to have a solid educational platform.
If someone is given the chance of education, even a basic education, it gives that person empowerment. With that, they can find work and take care of themselves and or their family. Someone illiterate stays trapped in their class system, never able to move up. Their children follow the same pattern and the cycle continues. A society that cannot provide for themselves become a cost to the state, weighing down countries with emerging economies who could use those resources to provide other basic needs such as water, electricity and housing.
Educate a nation and watch the growth of that country explode from within.