The Essential List: Karim Bartoletti
Born in Switzerland to an Italian father and an Iranian mother, Karim Bartoletti studied in Milan and then Illinois, before taking the plunge into Chicago’s advertising agency scene as a TV producer. In 2002 he jumped to the other side of the industry fence (and the other side of the Atlantic) to become partner and executive producer at Milan’s Filmmaster Productions and in 2015 he began a new chapter, taking up the same role at Indiana Production, which has offices in Milan, Rome, Berlin and Los Angeles. Karim has worked with directors from USA, UK, Spain, Ireland, Canada, Sweden, Italy, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Holland, Denmark and more. He speaks four languages, has a Brazilian wife and two kids, that, he hopes, will be “from all these places put together” when they grow up.
Check out Karim’s very international Essential List below.
o Hometown: Milan (Italy)
o Place of birth: Geneva (Switzerland)
o Dad: From Castiglioncello (Italy)
o Mom: From Tehran (Iran)
o Wife: From Sao Paulo (Brazil)
o Children: Two (Yasmin and Leo), born in Milan
o College: Northwestern University, Chicago
o Languages spoken: Four (three on a daily basis)
o Staycation: Courmayeur (Italy) on the sunny side of Mont Blanc
o Vacation: The town right before the Cinque Terre in Liguria, Italy: Bonassola
o Place of work: Indiana Production in Milan
o Place of workout: I guess, still Indiana Production in Milan
o Mode of transport: My Land Rover Discovery Sport
o Artist: Alfredo Jaar, Hans Bellmer, Bill Viola, Gerhard Richter. I also reconsidered Damien Hirst after seeing the very controversial show he had in Venice called Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, which I, regardless of the reviews, highly recommend seeing.
o Musicians: I love all music, I don’t love only one musician. I fall in love with songs, melodies, pieces: Fink “Warm Shadow”, Royksopp “Here she comes again”, City and Colour “What makes a man”, Ghali “Cara Italia”, Paul Weller “Wild Wood”, Maria Gadu “Escudos”, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto n.3... you get the idea.
o Commercial directors: Great commercial directors are the reason I realised I could never become a great director when I thought I wanted to become one. Jonathan Glazer, Ringan Ledwidge, Mike Mills, Noam Murro, Ivan Zacharias, Sam Brown, Spike Jonze, Tarsem are some of the directors that have done “great things” and, in some ways, influenced me in my career.
o Film director: At 14, I decided I wanted to be a director thanks to a Peter Greenaway film (The Belly of an Architect). At 20, I decided I was NOT going to ever become a great director thanks to a Claude Sautet film (A Heart in Winter).
o Photographer: Gregory Crewdson
o Film: Two films. One I loved, one my company produced.
Rosencrantz & Guilderstern Are Dead
The Leisure Seeker
o Series: Suits, Mindhunter, Ozark, The End of the Fucking World, Better Call Saul, The Good Place
o Commercial: I love commercials and campaigns that show the strength of advertising.
1- My first favourite commercial.
2- My latest favourite campaign. (I love the insight):
o Music Video: Music Videos are the stepping ground to the visual experimentation of a period in time. Here are two examples from THIS period in time:
1) The Academic, an Irish band uses the delay in Facebook Live to ‘build their song’ in a Live Looper Facebook Live.
2) Justin Timberlake (feat. Chris Stapleton) uses the concept of a one-take/one-shot which in 2018 is as artisan as filmmaking can get.
o Book: Perfume by Patrick Süskind and Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera
o Graphic Novel: Have never been a big graphic novel fan. Sorry.
o Newspaper (off or online): Corriere della Sera and Repubblica
o Magazine: I have had a TIME magazine subscription for more than 15 years
o Podcast: My friend Charles Day’s Podcast ‘Fearless – The Art of Creative Leadership’
o Miscellaneous Art: Architecture, photography, design, contemporary art, music of any kind
o Miscellaneous interests: Origami and voiceover work (in English)
Food and Drink
o Restaurant: When I lived in Chicago it was Coco Pazzo Cafe’. In Milan it is Torre di Pisa Milano
o Cheap bite: McDonald’s when with my children, Sapuri’ when I am alone
o Working lunch: The Restaurant in front of our office in Milan: Vento di Sardegna
o Dish: Spaghetti al Pomodoro and Persian Kabab
o Snack: Snack? Are Almonds or Cashew nuts a snack?
o Guilty Pleasure: Gummy bears or gummy anything
o Bar: Big Store de Milan, Bulk or Ceresio 7 (both in Milan)
o Tipple: Moscow mule, Aperol spritz or gin and tonic
o Soft Tipple: Red wine (Negramaro or Nero D’Avola)
o Miscellaneous food: Sushi or caprese salad
o Miscellaneous Beverage: Coke Zero sometimes. Dugh (a persian drink) when I eat at my parents during Sunday Kabab Lunch
o Phone: iPhone
o Computer: Apple MacBook Air
o TV: Yes. I like TV. :-)
o Headphones: Yes
o Camera: My iPhone has been my camera for the past years (it’s always with me). My Lumix or my Canon G7X are my cameras (they are sometimes with me)
o Soundsystem: Bose Mini Sound Link or JBL Flip 3 (which is also perfect for conference calls) :-)
o Pen / Pencil: My grandfather loved pens: I love pens.
o Where you document an idea: I always carry a pen with me to scribble and write and draw on napkins and placemats. At work I mostly use white paper from the copier
o Watch: My two favourites are: IWC & Rolex Explorer
o Collection: I don’t ‘collect’ things, but I like surrounding myself with things that I like and with things that I find beautiful
o App: If you know me, you know my app is Hipstamatic
o Website: All sites that start with www.
o Blog: Not interested unless I need to feed an interest or a research
o Digital work tool: Keynote, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, anything that can allow me to show, create, explain and/or sell projects
o Analogue work tool: Pen, Pencil, Paper... always
o Grooming: Just a little bit of gel. Matte not shiny
o Miscellaneous Kit Essential: My nerdy tech kit
o Miscellaneous Thoughts:
“An idea does not exist until it’s produced.”
“Production is the skin and the style that you put on an idea so that you can show it to people.”
“Find your talent. When you’ve found it and fed it and grown it. Find another talent to pair it with.”