«I was a child at the Quirinale, Pertini took me to the stadium. Cinecittà must live on sets and not just on memory»- Corriere.it

Of Valerio Cappelli

The manager of the cinema: «Dad was my hero, he set me free». Lunch after the 1982 World Cup: «I am the boy with the improbable striped shirt: I found myself in a sequence of Veltroni’s documentary on Paolo Rossi»

un reserved manager who spent his childhood at the Quirinale. Of Nicola Maccanico we know little. We know that he was born in Rome in 1972, and that he is an able manager of the audiovisual world: Sky (where he worked and returned), Warner, Vision which is the distribution company he founded. Since 2021 he has been CEO of Cinecittà. Son of Antonio Maccanico, who passed away in 2013, another style, another era, minister several times but is remembered as general secretary of Sandro Pertini; the servant of the State, they called him that way. “It was the name he loved the most. My father entered the Chamber of Deputies in 1947, after the war. He had an all-encompassing relationship with the state.”

Do you remember the first time you entered the Quirinale?

«I was six years old and I started crying, I wasn’t used to such a big house. The general secretary had an apartment in via della Dataria, opposite the Quirinale, not among the tapestries in the Sala degli Specchi but the context is similar. There I found an incredible humanity. Not being able to go around as I wanted (these were the years of the Red Brigades), I had as childhood friends the cuirassiers, the carabinieri and the officials with whom I occasionally played football. Once also in the Quirinale gardens, but only once because when my father found out about it he was not happy and made sure it didn’t happen again. In any case, they have been incredible years for a child, look at this photo ».

You next to Pertini…

«It was the lunch that President Pertini offered to the world champion national team on 12 July 1982. I am the boy with the improbable striped shirt and I unexpectedly found myself in a sequence of Veltroni’s documentary on Paolo Rossi. It was a day of pure joy, despite the discussions on the famous scopone played on the return plane between Pertini, Zoff, Causio and Bearzot».

Pertini, the President who entered the belly of the Italians. How was he with her?

“He was in love with children, he looked them in the eye, he treated them as adults. I, for him, was a handy child and it was a real privilege. He took me to the stadium and had fun. He definitely had a special charisma ».

What does she miss about her father?

«I lost it at the age of 41 and it is needless to underline how much an unfillable void remains. But we’ve shared so much that deep down I often feel like he’s with me. I remember when I graduated, in the evening at home he asked me “and now what will you do?”, I was disappointed because I was waiting for an indication, in reality he was saving my life because he left me free to choose. I built my professional history on that freedom. He was my hero. He was extremely serious, without taking himself too seriously. Is his teaching more important than him? If you have a responsibility, you perform a function. This simple concept makes all the difference in the world in managing one’s ego.”

You have a law degree.

«I didn’t have clear ideas, it seemed to me a sufficiently generic choice. I did many jobs that I didn’t like, I understood my direction by exclusion. I started with an internship in an investment bank, then an internship in a law firm where I met international clients who talked about what had to be done and what they expected from us, and I understood that I was sitting on the wrong side of the table. I felt more like a manager than a consultant».


“When the telecommunications market was liberalised, opportunities arose. I liked being a manager, but I looked with extreme curiosity at the world of content, which is closer to me than technological services».

What teenager was that?

«I never gave my parents any headaches, I managed to keep my restlessness in an unidentifiable space inside the house. With my father I talked about everything, being from 1924 it was sometimes difficult to understand the dynamics of young people, but he was curious ».

When did cinema enter your life?

«I found myself acting as a consultant for Stream to build thematic channels for the Public Administration, while there was the merger with Telepiù from which Sky Italia was born. Thus I had the opportunity to join a real multinational, as head of European affairs. Shortly after, Paolo Ferrari took me to Warner Bros as marketing director, and it changed my life. I discovered cinema, learned how to work as a film distributor and was trained in a very competitive environment like the American one».

What prerogatives does a cinema manager have?

«He must have a double level of reading the world: understanding the numbers and rules of companies, at the same time knowing how to talk to authors and producers, the world of creatives».

Now it is in Cinecittà, until recently in the imagination it was the home of «Big Brother», rather than the sets.

«I accepted the challenge because I was convinced that there was an unreplicable opportunity. The explosion of the world production market, the particularly competitive Italian tax credit and the strength of the Cinecittà brand (over three thousand films and series have been shot in the Studios, 40% of the Italian films that have won an Oscar in the history of cinema were filmed in Cinecittà) are solid tools for changing the course of history: Cinecittà as player contemporary and not just a place of memory. The facts seem to prove me right, today the 18 theaters have 100% occupancy (we will have the directorial debut of Paola Cortellesi, Angelina Jolie, Saverio Costanzo and the series M. The son of the century, based on Scurati’s novel about Mussolini), over 70% of which are international productions. The 260 million from the Pnrr will instead be used to grow our production capacity through five new theatres, to which another eight will be added on new land that we want to buy».

Is Cinecittà the ideal city in which you want to live?

“It’s the perfect place to work. And due to its institutional nature, it closes the circle with my childhood».

Listen, it’s not normal to spend the first years of one’s life at the Quirinale.

“I was the mascot. I had a happy childhood.”

December 17, 2022 (change December 17, 2022 | 20:45)

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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