He was born in Pomigliano d'Arco, Naples, in 1948. After completing his studies in letters and philosophy, from 1970 to 1978 he was a film critic. During those years he was a supervisor for the Pesaro Festival. In 1976 he began directing various documentaries about the social and cultural reality of Naples and the hinterland.
In 1979 he wrote and directed his first fiction feature film, Immacolata e Concetta (Silver Leopard at the Locarno festival 1979, France Culture prize at the Cannes Festival in 1980, Ubu prize and Bolaffi prize for best Italian film 1980), followed by: Le occasioni di Rosa (1981), Blues metropolitano (1984), Regina (1987), Baby Gang (1992), Il corpo dell’anima (1999, “Duel” award for best Italian film of the year), Quartetto (2001), Alla fine della notte (2003), all presented in various national and international festivals. He wrote the screenplays of these films (often with Carla Apuzzo) and starting with Regina, he also does the editing.
He wrote a play for theatre Bassa Campania (1981) and directed the film edited for television Tutti del bosco (RAI, Alfabeto italiano, 1998), both in collaboration with Carla Apuzzo. In 1998 he produced and edited her first work Rose e pistole.
In 2005 he directed the documentary La comune di Bagnaia – Un frammento di utopia (co-directors C. Apuzzo, H. Nijhuis).
As a writer, he published a collection of stories (Baby Gang, 1992, Pub. Crescenzi-Allendorf) and a novel (La neve a Napoli, 1996, Pub. Mondadori).