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Godfrey Reggio

Godfrey Reggio

With the Qatsi Trilogy, Godfrey Reggio invented his own film style - which puts the emphasis on bringing audiences images of extraordinary emotional impact and thought-provoking relevance. Part essay, part image-and-music extravaganza, the three films chronicle the rapid evolution and astonishing impact of the modern world over the last few decades.

Reggio' s background is in contemplation (he spent 14 years in silence and prayer, while studying to be a monk) and in service (not only to the environment but to youth, the poor and communities as well).

Born in New Orleans in 1940 and raised in southwest Louisiana, Reggio entered the Christian Brothers, a Roman Catholic pontifical order, at age 14 and remained there for 14 years. Based in New Mexico during the sixties, Reggio taught grade school, secondary school and college. In 1963, he co-founded Young Citizens for Action, a community organization project that aided juvenile street gangs. Following this, Reggio co-founded La Clinica de la Gente, a facility that provided medical care to 12,000 community members in Santa Fe, and La Gente, a community organizing project in Northern New Mexico's barrios.

In 1972, Reggio co-founded the Institute for Regional Education in Santa Fe, a non-profit foundation focused on media development, the arts, community organization and research – which was the progenitor for The Qatsi Trilogy. In 1974 and 1975, with funding from the American Civil Liberties Union, Reggio co-organized a multi- media public interest campaign on the invasion of privacy and the use of technology to control behavior.

He then began to develop the idea for a nonverbal film formed from a non-stop collage of images from real life.

Thus started Reggio' s seven-year odyssey to make Koyaanisqatsi, which won acclaim around the world. He next traveled to 12 countries making his second film Powaqqatsi (1987) which shifted his focus from North America to the more remote corners of the planet.

Reggio followed the second Qatsi film with the short film Anima Mundi, which was commissioned by Bulgari, the Italian jewelry company, for the World Wide Fund for Nature which used the film for its Biological Diversity Program. Accompanied by the music of Philip Glass, the twenty-eight minute Anima Mundi is a montage of intimate images of over seventy animal species that celebrates the magnificence and variety of the world's fauna.

In 1993, Reggio was invited to develop a new school of exploration and production in the arts, technology, and mass media being founded by the Benetton Company. Called Fabrica - Future, Presente, it opened in May, 1995, in Treviso, Italy, just outside Venice. While serving as the initial director of the school through 1995, Reggio co-authored the 7 minute film Evidence, which provides another point of view to observe the subtle but profound effects of modern living on children. Reggio is a frequent lecturer on philosophy, technology and film. He resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Godfrey Reggio Facts

BirthplaceNew Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Height6' 11" (2m11)

Selected Filmography

The Qatsi Trilogy
Koyaanisqatsi / Powaqqatsi
Anima Mundi
Ecological Trilogy
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