A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples, he attends DAMS in Bologna. He then gains his diploma in set design in ’82 from Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, and goes on to specialize in film and TV direction.
After a number of shorts (‘In una Notte di Luna Piena’), documentaries (‘Antrodoco, una Storia per due Battaglie’), and theatrical works as director and set designer, he makes the film ‘Aldis’ that was invited to participate in numerous festivals, among the most important of which were the XV Berlin International Forum of New Cinema in 1985, the ‘XII Student Film Award’ Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Los Angeles (gaining a nomination for best European student film), and the XLII International Venice Film Festival, in competition in the De Sica Section.
In 1988 with the film ‘00580 Annotazioni per un Documentario su Pozzuoli’ – which was selected for the XVIII Berlin International Forum of New Cinema - Gaudino sets out on a creative narrative about the Campi Flegrei that he will develop in further films, documentaries and radio programmes: ‘Per il Rione Terra’, ‘L’Assunta’, ‘Verso Baia’, ‘Giro di Lune: video-trailer per un progetto di film’, ‘Là dove Bocca, Sguardo e Cuore s’incontrano’. One of these is ‘Calcinacci’, a 50-minute film in which a gang of youths destroy a city. It wins the Spazio Italia Prize at the Turin Festival and is invited to Cinema du Reel in Paris and the Rotterdam Film Festival.
In 1992 he makes a portrait of Gianni Amelio on the set of the film ‘Il Ladro di Bambini’ (‘The Stolen Children’) entitled ‘Joannis Amaelii, animula vagula blandula’ and starts work on producing and co-writing Isabella Sandri’s first feature, ‘il Mondo alla Rovescia’ (‘The World Upside Down’), that was selected for the Locarno Festival and many others including Rotterdam, Karlovy Vary, Turin, Sao Paolo, and Saint Petersburg.
From 1995 to ’97 he makes the feature ‘Giro di Lune tra Terra e Mare’ (‘Moonspins between Land and sea’) which he also produced and co-wrote. The film competes at the Venice Biennale. It wins numerous prizes (including the Tiger Award of Rotterdam Festival, the Saint-Vincent Grolla d’Oro for direction, and the Directors’ Week Award at Fantasporto) and is invited to a number of festivals throughout the world: 41st San Francisco International Film Festival, 8th Fajr International Film Festival Tehran, Cairo Film Festival, Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema, International Istanbul Film Festival, as well as being chosen by the critics of the magazine ’Variety’ for a special section at the 33rd Karlovy Vary Int. Film Festival.
At the XIV Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema di Pesaro in 2000 Gaudino is awarded the CinemAvvenire prize (Venice Biennale – Education Ministry - ARCA) as ‘An emerging author of Italian cinema in the ‘90s’.
In 1999 with Sandri he makes ‘La Casa dei Limoni’ a documentary about the impossible dream of a young Palestinian girl who lives in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camp in the Lebanon of returning to her grandfather’s village in Israel-Palestine.
In 2000 he writes the screenplay for and produces Sandri’s feature, ‘Animali che attraversano la Strada’ (‘Animals Crossing The Road’), the story of the painful initiation of an adolescent into the world of adults in the outskirts of Rome. The film is invited to the Venice Biennale, in the official section ‘Cinema del Presente’. RAI is involved in its production. It participates in numerous festivals and is distributed by Istituto Luce.
In 2001 he makes the animated short ‘Gli Amori di Aldis. Amore 101, 102, 103…’ winner of a special mention at the Turin Festival and invited to the 31st Rotterdam Festival.
He also makes a documentary produced by Tele+ on the problem of young Albanians in Italy, chosen for the “Festival Internazionale Cinema Giovani” of Turin, entitled ‘O’ ciuna!’.
Still in 2001 he shoots the documentary ‘Scalamara’, part of the ‘I Diari della Sacher’ series produced by Nanni Moretti, inspired by true stories from the National Diary Archive at Pieve Santo Stefano. Invited to the Venice Biennale, it tells of the dream of a man of 71 who is still looking for his mother who abandoned him as a child and who has become over the course of his difficult life an unattainable chimera.
In 2003 he makes ‘Materiali a Confronto. Albania 1994 – Italia 2002’, a 110-minute documentary chosen for the 60th Venice Biennale - Nuovi Territori section – on the past and present of a corner of the world, a work dealing with images sunk between memory and reality.
From 2003 to 2005 he shoots a documentary film with Isabella Sandri produced by Fandango: ‘Maquilas’ on the border factories in the north of Mexico, in Ciudad Juarez, the city where hundreds of women have been found hacked to pieces, for the most part workers in the ‘maquilas’. The film is a lengthy journey into the inferno of people who come from a sort of paradise, that of the peasant villages of Chiapas, a paradise that has been gutted by the free trade agreements. It is shown at the Turin Festival where it wins the Special Jury Prize and the Cipputi Prize for best documentary on the world of work.
From 2003 to 2008, again with Sandri, he works on making a documentary film ‘Storie d’Armi e di Piccoli Eroi’, shot in Afghanistan on the life of a boy who has been orphaned by ‘intelligent bombs’ who makes something of his life thanks to writing and books, thanks to culture: words against bombs as a way to use your own simple existence to ensure your country’s future.From 2007 to 2010 Gaudino and Sandri have been working on finishing a full-length work 'Per questi Stretti Morire' (‘By these Straits to Die’) on the figure of an Italian cinematic explorer, Alberto Maria De Agostini, who left to serve as a missionary in Patagonia and Terra del Fuego in 1910, he dedicated his life to the ‘scientific’ but also visionary attempt at describing and communicating all the beauty of those lands at the end of the world. Faced by the torment and pain of the disappearance of the last of the Indios the only words he can find are those terrifying ones on his slides or in the frames of his beautiful film ‘Terre Magellaniche’. 'Per questi Stretti Morire' has been selected at the 67 Biennale of Venice- Mostra internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica, in the official competition Orizzonti.
Premio ‘Città di Imola’ as Best Italian Movie at Trento Film Festival, 2011.
Special Jury Prize at 18° “Premio Libero Bizzarri”, 2011
There is a documentary film on the work of Sandri and Gaudino, entitled “Les Champs brùlants” (Campi Ardenti) by Catherine Libert and Stefano Canepa –- France, 2010, B&W and colour, 72 minutes, premiered at the 63rd Locarno Film Festival 2010 and Special Jury Award at Turin Film Festival 2010.
“The struggle of the Tuareg people of Mali to hold onto their nomadic traditions is the subject of Isabella Sandri’s poignant docu ‘The Sand Raft’." ('Variety')
Special Jury Prize at the 21° Turin Film Festival
The perseverance, excess and suffering in the life and works of the explorer, filmmaker and photographer Alberto Maria De Agostini (1883-1960) arbitrarily reinvented.
"Between Jean Cocteau and Guy Maddin, a masterpiece of mixed media cinema" (La Cinematheque Francaise, Paris - May 2010)