Born in Rome, Italy, Stefano Maria Ortolani has a degree in Architecture from the University of Florence (Italy).
When he was still a university student, Stefano had the chance to work with some of the most famous Italian directors (Luchino Visconti, Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, Mario Monicelli, etc.) and had his first international experience in the movie “Orca The Killer Whale” by Michael Anderson.
Among his credits: “The Monsignor” by Frank Perry, “The Sicilian” by , “The Last Days of Pompeii” by Peter Hunt, “Portrait of a Lady” by Jane Campion, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” by Antony Minghella, “Gangs Of New York” by Martin Scorsese, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” by Wes Anderson …
… “Ocean’s 12” by Steven Soderberg, “Mission Impossible III” by J.J. Abrahams and the TV Mini Series “Angels in America” by Mike Nichols.
He has worked as production designer in: “Exorcist: The Beginning” by Renny Harlin, “The Nativity Story” by Catherine Hardwicke, “Borgia” (TV series, 24 episodes) for Canal +, “Risen” by Kevin Reynolds, “Castello Cavalcanti” a short movie by Wes Anderson, “The Book Club – The Next Chapter” by Bill Holderman, and others.
He has worked as supervising art director for the feature film “The Two Popes” by Fernando Meirelles, reproducing an outstanding full scale copy of the Sistine Chapel.
He has worked as production designer in the new and upcoming Terrence Malick’s feature film “The Way of the Wind“.
He has built a virtual reality installation for the experimental project “Carne y Arena” by Alejandro Gonzàles Inarritu presented at the Prada Foundation in Milan and at the Cannes Film Festival (2017).
He has designed and built a multi-purpose Roman Theater at Cinecittà Film Studios.
Stefano has worked as production designer on dozens of photoshoots and commercials for Nike, Nespresso, Barilla, Lavazza, Scervino and many other international brands.
He has also worked as production designer in two VR movies: “Biblical Project” by David Hansen and “The Seven Miracles of Jesus” by Rodrigo Cerqiera and Marco Spagnoli.
Stefano Maria Ortolani nowadays works as a freelancer in his own office located at Cinecittà studios.