Gillo Pontecorvo was an Italian filmmaker. He worked as a film director for more than a decade before his best known film La battaglia di Algeri was released. For this he was nominated for the Best Director Oscar in 1969 and won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in that year.
His other films include Kapò, which takes place in a World War II concentration camp, and Burn!, starring Marlon Brando and loosely based on the failed slave revolution in Guadeloupe. In 2000, he received the Pietro Bianchi Award at the Venice Film Festival. He was also a screenwriter and composer of film scores, and a close friend of the Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.