Palazzo di Cozzo

Director Madeleine Martiniello / 2021 / Australia,Italy

Melbourne’s iconic baroque homewares mogul, Franco Cozzo, is the subject of this delightful portrait that offers insights into furniture, family and the migrant experience.

Arriving in Melbourne in 1956, Sicilian-born Franco Cozzo is a universally beloved figure with a truly inspirational, and aspirational, story. Beginning his career as a door-to-door salesman, he became a cultural icon by building a furniture empire in Brunswick and Footscray, his experience encapsulating the ideal for those who’ve uprooted to seek a better life in a new land. Part biography, part cultural celebration, Madeleine Martiniello’s film traces Cozzo’s personal fortunes alongside those of the generations of migrants who have been drawn to his ornate, ostentatious wares, viewing ownership of them as a sign of success.

Cozzo’s personality is as big as the bedheads he sells, but Martiniello eschews caricature and delivers this account with thoughtful affection. In particular, she reminds us just how rare and innovative his 1980s television ads were: spoken in English, Italian and Greek, they helped to foster a sense of community and inclusivity in a Melbourne that was still coming to grips with the notion of multiculturalism. Overflowing with charm and heart, this snapshot of local history is sure to be megalo, megalo, megalo!

Presented by Campari

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