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Gianfranco Gaioni


Since his childhood Kobayashi developed a frenzied love for moving images, music and every form of art.  He approached traditional animation during primary school, where he used to make stop motion films with a super 8 camera. 

In 1993 he was crafting CG shorts using only the Amiga Personal Computer.

In 1995 he enrolled at the Milan Polytechnic University to get a Degree in New Media Design, but soon he left the College to start his professional career as a VFX artist. 

In fact Kobayashi was only 21 years old when he got hired at Digitalia Graphics, one of the best post production studios in Italy at that time.There he worked on many feature films and commercials, including “Teeth” (dir. Gabriele Salvatores), “C’era un cinese in coma” (dir. Carlo Verdone), Come quando fuori piove (dir. Mario Monicelli), “I cavalieri che fecero l’impresa” (dir. Pupi Avati), “Il partigiano Johnny” (dir.Guido Chiesa).

In 2003 he founded his first production company: Abstract:Groove.
There he learned a lot more about writing, directing, producing and editing.
He worked mainly on music videos and fashion / beauty projects for famous Italian brands like Diesel, Enel, Gianfranco Ferrè, 55DSL, MTV, Gas Jeans, Replay and Morellato.

In 2007 Kobayashi moved to London, looking for international challenges and a real breakthrough in his directing career. He landed a VFX artist position at Cinesite, taking part to the post production of the Academy Award Oscar Winner “The Golden Compass” (dir. Chris Weitz), “Hellboy 2” (dir. Guillermo del Toro), “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” (dir. Raja Gosnell) and “Bedtime stories” (dir. Adam Shankman).

During the same years he written, produced and directed some spec commercials, under his secret identity: Director Kobayashi (if you are wondering where this name comes from, I'll give you a hint: Keyser Söze).
Thanks to these spec works he got signed by Stink Digital (London), Wanted Films (London), From A to Zed (Italy) and PTT Films (Istanbul).

In 2009 he moved back to Italy and founded Director Kobayashi Srl.
From that moment he started directing / producing international feature films, while crafting international commercials and music videos for Sony, Universal, Samsung, Toyota, Yamaha, Unilever, Napoca, Mediobanca, Ansaldo, Pampers, Spinning Records, Italian Railways, ING Bank, Bioxcin, Velcom, Life, SVS, Pespi and many more.

His second feature film "Solo per il Weekend" (Only for the Weekend) was completed in August 2015.

The movie was in the Official Selection at the Montreal World Film Festival (Sep 2015) and at the Rome Film Festival (Oct 2015). The theatrical release of the movie in Italy was in July 2016 and now is airing on Sky Cinema network.



Director Kobayashi has been a key speaker at Cinesummit, OFFF, Pause Fest and KL Design Week.

His work has been featured on many well-known magazines, newspapers and TV networks: Sky, Rai, Il Sole 24 Ore, La Stampa, Corriere della Sera, Bad Taste, Coming Soon, Vanity Fair, My Movies, Computer Arts, IdN, 3D World, CG Plus, Kult, GoMotion Magazine, Shots, Boards, Stash, Brand Republic, Adweek Talent Gallery, Fubiz, Pantone Gallery, Design Taxi, etc.



2006 - Italian Videoclip Awards - Best Editing with “Go Down” - Housekeepers (Milan - Italy)

2008 - Finalist at “Cut and Paste” contest (Milan - Italy)

2009 - Digital Artist Award - Animation Category - Sony Bravia “Play Doh London” Spec (London - UK)

2014 - Young Innovative Entrepreneur Award (Brescia - Italy)

2015 - Official selection at the Montreal World Film Festival (Festival des Films du Monde)

2015 - Official selection at the Rome Film Festival (Festa del Cinema di Roma)

2016 - Official selection at Sudestival (Monopoli - Italy)

2016 - Official selection at "Il Cinema Italiano Festival" (Milan - Italy)