-Alvaro Gutierrez, Shine On Hollywood Magazine
Giovanni Mauro Zelko is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, author and fine-art photographer. He is best known for writing, directing and executive producing the award winning international political thriller The Algerian, executive producing the Shakespeare feature film H4 and authoring the book of film theory, Living the Dream. In 2007, Zelko released his collection of black & white fine-art nude photographs and love poems as a unique coffee table book titled Body of Poetry.
After graduating from Boston University's film school in 1996 with a Bachelor's of Science in Film and a Minor in English literature, he worked as a Hollywood lighting technician on films and television while writing screenplays and directing short films. Zelko made his feature film directorial debut with The Algerian and gained considerable attention with many awards at international film festivals. Critics cited the film's expression of the evolving nature of cultural identity and religious perspective in the 21st century as reasons for deeming the feature a poignant social impact film. The Algerian has garnered a total of 19 accolades, including Best Director, Best Feature, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Sound Design, Best Editing and an Audience Choice Award, amongst others. His two prior short films, Theogony and The Interview won a number of awards including Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Actress and Best Fight Choreography at film festivals around the world. The feature film H4 which he Executive Produced with Harry Lennix has been an official selection at the prestigious Chicago International Film Festival, the Stratford Upon Avon Shakespeare Festival, the Boston Shakespeare Society Convention, the Indie Memphis Film Festival, the N.Y. Oktober Film Festival and the British Black & Asian Shakespeare Festival. Zelko’s latest feature film production, Saint Mary’s Secret, is set to begin filming soon.
In addition to feature films, his production company, Zelko Films, has also produced music videos, travel-leisure episodes, and is developing a half hour episodic television series, Dante's Inferno. An avid screenwriter, Zelko has completed a total of 13 feature screenplays, many of which he plans to direct and produce. In addition to writing, directing and producing, Zelko is a true Renaissance Filmmaker who also edits, shoots and acts in his films.