Pierluigi (Gigi) De Donno was born in 1982 in Maglie, Italy. He graduated with a degree in communication sciences from the University of Perugia in 2006. Three years later he completed a degree in cinema, television and multimedia production at the University of Bologna.

During his studies, De Donno founded FREIM, an independent film production company. In addition to directing and producing, over the last few years he has also been working as an camera operator, editor, casting director, author and production assistant. In 2007 he was the founder and organiser of Medita et Erra, a film festival held at the Castello di Otranto in Lecce, Italy.

He was the author and producer of the documentary films Old Cinema– Bologna Melodrama (2010) and Brustulein: Cinema to Munch on at the Cinema (2009). Additionally, he was the co-author and producer of the 2014 documentary Gitanistan: Lo Stato Immaginario dei Rom Salentini (Gitanistan: The Imaginary Status of the Roma Families in Salento), a documentary about Romani butchers and horse traders.

While De Donno was born and raised in Salento, at the time he never knew about the existence of the very special Roma families featured in his films. In Gitanistan he sought to show the invisible power of the micro community in Salento, with their famous horse trading and butchery traditions.

De Donno was also the co-author and producer of the documentary The Beautiful Louis: History of Art, Anarchy and Cheats (2014).


Gitanistan PressKit



2007 Founder and organiser of Meditate et Erra film festival in the Castello di Otranto, Lecce

2008 Khalid, docu-drama, unit production

2008 Moen, director and producer

2008 Radiolame, short film, director and producer

2008 In Movement by the band Jola Scream, assistant director

2009 Sometimes Just a Smile, short film, produced and co-directed (with Vincent D’Arpe)

2009 Brustulein: Cinema to Munch on at the Cinema, author and producer

2010 Old Cinema – Bologna Melodrama, documentary, author and producer

2010 CIDRA – Gandolfi House, documentary, camera operator and editor

2010 7 Minutes, short film, editor

2010 Ulysses Futura, short film, executive producer

2010 Mother Dough, documentary, editor

2011 THE RING BROKEN: Stories of the Italians from the East Wall, short documentary, curator

2014 The Beautiful Louis: History of Art, Anarchy and Cheats, co-author and producer

2014 Gitanistan: Lo Stato Immaginario dei Rom Salentini, co-author and producer