Chairwoman | Lux Vide

Matilde Bernabei was born in Florence in 1954, but she moved at a young age with her family to Rome, where she started her career, rapidly revealing her free and ambitious attitude, which allowed her to start working at only 20 for the weekly magazine “Panorama”; in 1976 she joined Asip, a company active in technical cooperation with developing countries, of which she became Secretary General two years later. After gaining expertise in the international field, in 1980 Matilde joined Montedison, one of the country’s most important strategic groups, where she was in charge of the job creation program for the industrial settlements of Southern Italy, fundamental to re-launch the work sector. Thanks to her pragmatism, she became the youngest Italian executive at 26, earning in 1984 the role of Director due to the business strategies of the newborn company Me.Ta., holding of Montedison group for the service sector and diversification, which under her direction became the third Italian financial holding, in business with large retailers (Standa, Euromercato), financial services (Agos), the insurance (La Fondiaria) and publishing sectore (Rizzoli-Corsera) and telematics (Datamond), with a market capitalization of over 3 billions liras. In 1987 she took the role of CEO at Messaggero, one of the most important Italian editorial group. But her biggest challenge was yet to come. Thanks to her years-long experience in the Italian industry key sectors, she founded in 1992 the TV production company Lux Vide, of which she has been President for 12 years. 

Ahead of the times, she realized that the future of the business were the international co-productions. With this clear vision in mind, she sought abroad the funds necessary to produce the Bible’s TV adaptation. The resourcefulness was rewarded once again, and the Bible project was realized. Entirely shot in English, featuring stars like Ben Kingsley and Richard Harris, The Bible is a major work, a series of 20 international films sold in 144 countries, written and produced by a Christian, Jewish and Muslim crew. With The Bible, the newly-founded Lux Vide won an Emmy Award in 1995, the most important TV award in the world, equivalent to the Academy Award for cinema. This was an unthinkable achievement for an Italian production company until then. From then on, the winning formula for the international market has always been the Mediterranean Drama, a creative style incorporating a local background and an international appeal. An approach strongly rooted in the Lux Vide’s model, based on a solid binomial since its birth: the value of the identity and the openness to diversity. From then on, Lux Vide has collected a series of great successes, including: Pope John Paul II; War and Peace, co-produced in seven countries; Coco Chanel, Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated in 2009 (best mini-series and best actress for Shirley MacLaine); Anna Karenina and many other titles. Lastly, the ambitious Renaissance saga Medici, broadcasted on Rai in 2016 and sold in about 100 countries (the first Italian content to be distributed as Netflix Original on the international market) and the conspiracy thriller on global finance Devils, produced for Sky, with Patrick Dempsey and Alessandro Borghi.

MIA | Drama Speakers 2019