Sergio Navarretta is an internationally award-winning director who is fiercely passionate about bringing meaningful content to the screen. He draws inspiration from Italian neorealism and considers his work an exploration of the human condition. Navarretta’s projects are touching, relevant, inclusive, often humorous, and most importantly, entertaining. He is currently hard at work innovating creative ways for his projects and the film industry at large to press on during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.
Navarretta's third and latest feature, The Cuban, stars Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr. (Watchmen), Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Expanse), Ana Golja (Degrassi), Lauren Holly (Tiny Pretty Things), and Giacomo Gianniotti (Grey's Anatomy). The Cuban was shot in Canada and Havana, Cuba and won Best Narrative Feature and Audience Awards at the L.A. Pan African Film Festival and the Montreal Black Film Festival, and was nominated for three 2021 Canadian Screen Awards. Having served as the opening feature at Canada's first nation-wide virtual film festival, the Canadian Film Fest, on Super Channel, the film tells the story of a naïve pre-med student named Mina (Golja) who develops an unlikely friendship with Luis, an elderly Cuban musician with dementia (Gossett Jr.) and features the music of Grammy-nominated piano virtuoso, Hilario Durán. The film was released theatrically across North America, and is now being distributed internationally.
Navarretta made his directorial debut with Looking for Angelina, a true crime feature that tells the story of one of the most sensational murder cases in North American history. Looking for Angelina won numerous awards, was showcased at festivals around the world, played to sold-out theatres in fifteen Canadian cities, and ranked amongst the top five in box office revenues for Canadian films at the time. A social action campaign and learning guide to raise awareness and spotlight issues of domestic violence were created and released alongside the film. Navarretta’s follow-up feature, The Colossal Failure of the Modern Relationship, starring Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars), traveled on the festival circuit, and premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Oscar weekend. Colossal is currently available on all VOD platforms in North America and around the world.
Between features, Navarretta has directed a number of award-winning short films, including The Fortune Cookie, Over a Small Cup of Coffee, and En Plein Air, an homage to the Group of Seven. He also works as a producer, service producer, and executive producer under his own company banner, S.N.A.P. Films Inc., as well as for various international clients. He executive produced (for Canada) the sci-fi movie Andron starring Danny Glover and Alec Baldwin, is an executive producer for the biopic Lamborghini, starring Alec Baldwin and Antonio Banderas, and was a consulting producer on Trading Paint, starring John Travolta. Navarretta is proud to have executive produced and overseen all aspects of production and casting for the star-studded animated theatrical feature Arctic Dogs, now on Netflix, featuring Jeremy Renner, James Franco, Anjelica Huston, Alec Baldwin, John Cleese, and Heidi Klum.
Navarretta received his education at York University in Toronto and has a background in music from the Royal Conservatory. He has done extensive training in both acting and directing, learning under the guidance of actor Nick Mancuso and renowned acting coach Rose Dubin, and directing at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre. He has attended various master classes, including one led by director Robert Altman, and has shadowed both directors and cinematographers over the years, including the legendary Piotr Sabocinski. Navarretta sat on numerous panels to raise awareness about domestic violence and issues of racism during the release of Looking for Angelina, a film that has subsequently been utilized by universities, government, and police services across Canada.
In addition to his prolific work in entertainment, he has served as a mentor in the Being Black in Toronto initiative; taught masterclasses for Reel Works in New York City, and sat on several panels for the Academy of Film and Television, TIFF, Women in Film Toronto, Ontario Creates, Halifax Black Film Festival, Alzheimer’s societies, and FOLCS (New York City). Recently, he was named president of the Jury for the ICFF/Lavazza Drive-In Film Festival in Toronto, and is proud to sit on the boards of several arts organizations, including the ICFF, and be a member of the Directors Guild of Canada.
As Vice President of S.N.A.P. Films Inc., Sergio is currently developing a number of feature films, television series, and projects across media. He divides his time between Toronto and Los Angeles.
Representation by Ralph Zimmerman at Great North Artists Management
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