Roberto Citran

Roberto Citran

Jury Member 2023

An elegant artist, Roberto Citran has ranged throughout his long career from theatre to dramas, from comedy to international productions. Born in Padua, he soon began his theatrical career in his city with Teatrocontinuo and TAM teatro musica; in 1978 he also started his collaboration with the University Cineclub “Cinema 1” together with Carlo Mazzacurati and Enzo Monteleone. In 1983 he created the comedy duo Punto & Virgola together with fellow comedian Vasco Mirandola; after winning the La Zanzara d’Oro contest, the two appeared in many TV shows until 1989, guests of television hosts such as Maurizio Costanzo, Fabio Fazio and Renzo Arbore, to name only a few.

In 1986 he made his debut in fiction acting with Ricky Tognazzi in Parole e Baci by Rossella and Simona Izzo. It was Tognazzi himself, as director, who got him his first David di Donatello nomination with Little Misunderstandings (Piccoli Equivoci). Citran’s name will later be inextricably linked to Carlo Mazzacurati, who wants him to act in numerous films as leading character, appearing in roles such as the parish priest Don Gastone in a clerical-fascist Veneto in Il prete bello (1989), for which he obtained his first nomination for the Nastro d’argento, and as the misfortunate mate of Franco (Diego Abatantuono) as they try to sell a bull between Italy and Hungary in Il toro (1994), which earned him not only his second David di Donatello nomination, but more importantly the Coppa Volpi in Venice as best supporting actor.

His roles on the big screen follow one another starting in 1989, with Enzo de Caro’s Io, Peter Pan, but also in Giuseppe Piccioni’s Chiedi la luna, and Cristina Comencini’s The Amusements of Private Life. In this same period, Citran alternates between theater (Freak e gli ultimi freaks with Roberto Freak Antoni of the Skyantos, Il mistero dei bastardi assassini with Arturo Brachetti, Risate selvagge with Giuseppe Cederna and Doris Von Thury) and cinema, a trend that has been lasting to this day. In the 1990s, he worked with countless directors, including Cinzia Th. Torrini, Maurizio Zaccaro, Silvio Soldini, and with Francesco Rosi in The Truce (1997) alongside John Turturro, in which he stands out in playing the role of the violinist Unverdoben, Primo Levi’s traveling companion during his return to Italy.

As time goes by, fame begins to precede him, but he is considered an artist who always tests himself demonstrating great identification with the characters he interprets; nevertheless, he is never distracted by notoriety. The early 2000s enshrine Citran’s recognition abroad, with appearances in Nora (2000), alongside Ewan McGregor, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001) with Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz, directed by Path Murphy and John Madden, respectively. The most successful titles, however, are The Moab story (2003), directed by Peter Greenaway and Hotel Rwanda (2004) by Terry George.

In the same years, he is noticed also for his TV performances: from sports journalist in the sit-com Baldini and Simoni to chief of Medicine in General Practice to extended appearances in other successful series such as Distretto di polizia, Inspector Coliandro and Ricky Tognazzi’s The Good Pope (2003 alongside Bob Hoskins), for which he picked up the Telegatto award for best drama of the year. He was cast for a small role in Rob Marshall’s musical Nine and at the same time worked with Francesca Archibugi in Flying Lessons (2007) as the father of one of the main characters; in 2007 he also began a long-lasting association with Massimo Venier, which includes the sentimental Il giorno in più (2011), Wannabe Widowed (2013), I Hate Summer (2020) and Il grande giorno (2022), these latter both starring Aldo, Giovanni e Giacomo.

Always alternating between one discipline and another, he works in theater with Paolo Virzì (Are there any other questions? With Silvio Orlando, Lorenza Indovina, Chiara Caselli) with Daniele Luchetti (La scuola with Silvio Orlando and Marina Massironi) with Veronica Cruciani (Le verità di Bakersfield with Marina Massironi) with Paolo Valerio (Il vento del Nord with Chiara Caselli) and with Pierpaolo Sepe in Miss Murple (with M. Amelia Monti, Sabrina Scuccimarra among the others).

In recent years he has been directed by Andrea Segre in Shun Li and the Poet, L’ordine delle cose and Welcome Venice; he resumed his collaboration with Carlo Mazzacurati in The Chair of Happiness (2014), participated in the feature film on Pasolini La Macchinazione by David Grieco, alongside Massimo Ranieri (2016) and played a role in Diabolik by Manetti Bros (2021). Meanwhile, there is a succession of his appearances on TV, tarting with his numerous collaborations with Giacomo Campiotti in I Prefer Paradise, Mary of Nazareth, Chiara Lubich-L’amore vince tutto; he appears in Fuoriclasse, In arte Nino and in Il cacciatore, where he impersonates Andrea Elia, the new chief prosecutor of Palermo in 1990s Sicily fighting the Mafia. He is currently filming a series for the Swiss Television and has just finished shooting Conclave directed by Edward Berger.