Gabriella Martinelli established, Martinelli Films in 2013, a boutique production company based in Toronto, focusing on films and documentaries of social and political relevance. Formerly she founded, was president and CEO of Capri Films and Capri Releasing for eleven years.
In 2014 Martinelli Films produced, After the Ball, a modern Cinderella tale starring Portia Doubleday, Chris Noth, Marc-André Grondin, Lauren Holly.
Most recently Martinelli was an executive producer on Ben Wheatley’s dystopian drama, based on J.G. Ballard’s novel, High Rise, starring Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Elizabeth Moss, Luke Evans, James Purefoy.
As the driving force of Capri Films she produced four Canada/Italy co-productions including Between Strangers starring Sophia Loren, Pete Postlethwaite, Mira Sorvino, Deborah Unger, Gerard Depardieu, Klaus Maria Brandauer and Malcolm McDowell. She was reunited with Sophia Loren for CTV’s mini-series Lives of the Saints which also starred Kris Kristofferson and Jessica Paré based on Canadian writer Nico Ricci’s award-winning trilogy. In addition she produced two mini-series on Pope John Paul II with CBC and Mediaset, Italy; Karol, The Man Who Became Pope and Karol, The Pope, The Man.
Her feature films include Terry Gilliam’s Tideland starring Jeff Bridges; and the rock’n’roll vampire comedy, Suck, starring, Malcolm McDowell, Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins, Moby, and Jessica Paré. She may be best known for producing Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet, starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Claire Danes, John Leguizamo, and Pete Postlethwaite which shot in Mexico City and Los Angeles.
Her early producing credits include: Zargon: Discovery, B.C.’s Host Pavilion Film for Expo‘86 shot in the “Showscan” 70 mm/ 60 frame/sec format pioneered by special effects master Douglas Trumbull in collaboration with conceptual illustrator, Ralph McQuarrie Close and Warner’s Bros, The Amazing Panda Adventure; Gordon Pinsent’s, John and The Missus shot in Newfoundland; David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch and M Butterfly (the first western production to shoot in China), Clive Barker’s horror fantasy, The Nightbreed, featuring Cronenberg as the deranged Psychiatrist, Dr. Decker (shot at Pinewood Studios in the UK) and Renegades starring Keifer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Martinelli also produced the theatrical production Scaramouche Jones starring Pete Postlethwaite at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre for an eight week sold out run. That same year Steven Spielberg declared Postlethwaite,“The best actor in the world.”
Martinelli Films is currently in production on the feature documentary Heart of a Lion shooting in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Canada, US and UK, identifying the crises of wild life extinction in Africa and in the words of David Suzuki,“the catastrophic course of our bio-spheres”. It explores the disconnect between man and nature, the commodification of animals and wilderness, the economic and political forces behind the lion “bone trade”, “canned hunting” and the “muti Trade” and investigates the dynamics of wildlife reserves, zoos, circuses and international trophy hunting.
Martinelli’s documentaries include the acclaimed, Marion Woodman: Dancing In The Flames, chronicling the life of renowned writer, poet and Jungian analyst Marion Woodman; Vincenzo Natali’s Getting Gilliam, Spirit Of Tibet: The Journey To Enlightenment by French Buddhist monk, Mathieu Ricard (featured in TIME Magazine as the “Happiest Man Alive”), on the life, death – and rebirth, of his revered guru, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche – narrated by Richard Gere, with music supervision by Philip Glass in collaboration with The National Film Board directing all distribution revenues to the Shechen Monasteries in Nepal and Tibet.
Through the course of her career Martinelli has served on the board of The Academy Of Canadian Cinema, is as a founding member of Reel Canada: Our Films in Our Schools as well as serving two consecutive terms on the boards of Women In Film and the Toronto Film Board.