Mantovani says he is eager to do more American ads and selected The Joneses after a year-long search for a U.S. home. “I wanted to find a company that was focused on a few directors and had a real interest in building my career,” he explains. “I liked Mel and the enthusiasm he has for my work. I was also impressed with the other directors on the staff and with the projects they have done. It’s a good fit.”
Mantovani began his career as an assistant to legendary fashion photographer Paolo Roversi. In 1999, he and fellow French directors Julien Rambaldi and David Fauche formed the directing collective The Zoo, which enjoyed a successful four-year run with credits including Renault, Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne. Since 2004, he has been directing commercials, music videos and other projects on his own and winning assignments from agencies in France, Germany, England, Italy, Canada and the United States.
Among his best-known work is the spot Hippies for Volkswagen in which aging survivors of the Flower Power era sigh over old photographs of a beloved VW van and are then mesmerized by the arrival of new version of the “classic.” Mantovani directed an acclaimed campaign for Longines watches featuring Kate Winslet, Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Asian film star Chi Ling Lin, and filmed on the Via Veneto in Rome. He also directed the short film Broadway, a collaboration with French composer Sebastien Tellier, which screened at the New York Museum of Modern Art’s Outstanding Short Films from International Festivals in 2007.
The director’s humor is evident in Animals his award-winning public service announcement for France’s Société des Autoroutes. In it a fox, a rabbit, a deer and other animals are seen vaulting over a highway as if shot from a catapult. The point is to encourage drivers to be more careful of wildlife trying to cross roads.
“What interests me is to tell stories and build interesting characters,” Mantovani says. “I enjoy working with actors. I am fully committed and invest body and soul into my work.”
The Joneses is located at 1501 Colorado, Suite C, Santa Monica, California 90404. For more information, call 310.656.8300 or visit www.thejoneses.tv