Paolo Rotondo

Paolo Rotondo was born in Napoli, Italy from a proud Neapolitan father and an Irish Kiwi (New Zealand) mother. Paolo spent his first years in Italy moving to New Zealand when he was ten years old. He now lives in the Hawkes Bay with his partner Renee Mark and two young children.

Rotondo is an accomplished artist working as a Film Director, Playwright and actor. He is a respected fixture working in Film, Theatre and Television industries for twenty years. His experience in filmmaking, ranges from acting, to producing, to writing and directing. In 2016 he released his debut feature film "Orphans & Kingdoms" to great critical acclaim. As an actor he is probably best known for his work on Shortland Street, New Zealand's longest running serial drama. In this series he portrayed the unlucky in love CEO of the clinic Andrew Solomon. Paolo's lead roles in feature films include the much loved Kiwi classic caper film Stickmen. He made his debut as the serial killer Simon Cartwright in the bold horror film "The Ugly" for which he won a Best Actor award at the Rome Fantafestival. Other television series Rotondo has acted in include, Xena: Warrior Princess, When We Go To War, Riverworld, Young Hercules, The Insider's Guide To Happiness and 'Cancerman'. He was nominated for TV Guide Best actor' on two occasions. In 2016 Paolo played Johnny Torrio, Al Capone's infamous mentor in the US Television series The Making of the Mob: Chicago".

The short films Rotondo wrote and directed; 'The Freezer' and 'Dead Letters' were both supported by the New Zealand Film Commission, have received international acclaim and are studied in New Zealand High schools.[1]

As a playwright Rotondo has penned major theatre shows including the highly successful 'Little Che' inspired by The Motorcycle Diaries and 'Strange Resting Places' co-written with Rob Mokaraka and based on family stories of the Māori Battalion in Italy in World War II. 'Strange Resting Places' has received five star reviews and been performed for over nine years and been published by Playmarket.[2][3][4][5]

As a TV Commercial Director Paolo is represented by Flying Fish films New Zealand.[6] He directed the film Orphans and Kingdoms which was released for general exhibition in April 2016.[7]


Museum and New Zealand Society of Authors Research grant.

  • Shakespeare Globe International Artistic Fellowship
  • Italian Film Scholarship
  • Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards - WINNER - Best New Playwright
  • Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards - Production of the Year - Strange Resting Places
  • New Zealand Screen Awards - WINNER - Best Script - Dead Letters (short film)
  • TV Guide Best on the Box People's Choice - Best Actor - The Insider's Guide to Happiness
  • TV Guide Best on the Box People's Choice - Best Actor - Milan Brych - Cancerman
  • Fantafestival Film Festival, Rome Award Winner - Best Actor - The Ugly

Director/Writer FILM

  • Orphans & Kingdoms (Writer, Director) - Feature Film
  • The Freezer (Writer, Director) - Short Film
  • Dead Letters (Writer (Adaptation), Director) - Short Film (Best Script 2006 NZ Film Awards)

Writing Theatre

  • 'Little Che'
  • 'Strange Resting Places' (Best new Playwright 2007 Chapmann Trip Theatre Awards)
  • 'Black Hands'




  • Tartuffe: Tartuffe - Silo Theatre
  • The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs: Performer for Silo Theatre
  • Little Dog Laughed Silo Theatre
  • Black Hands: Writer/Actor/Producer
  • Little Che: Writer/Actor/Producer
  • Strange Resting Places: Writer/Actor - Taki Rua Productions
  • Peer Gynt Narrator for Auckland Philharmonia
  • Mr. Marmalade: Bradley - Auckland Theatre Company
  • Twelfth Night: Sebastian - Auckland Theatre Company
  • Fond Love and Kisses: Rob - Downstage Theatre
  • The Butchers' Daughter: Emilian & Others
  • A Streetcar Named Desire: Pablo Gonzales - Auckland Theatre Company
  • Dog - Silo Theatre
  • NeverNever - BATS
  • The Young Baron Biaggio - Maidment Theatre
  • Accidental Death of an Anarchist: Madman - Maidment Theatre
  • Coriolanus: Brutus - Maidment Theatre
  • Nowhere Fast: Bevan - Maidment Theatre
  • Round About Thursday: Roger - Maidment Theatre




  1. "NZ Screen Awards 2006". nzonscreen. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  2. "Strange Resting Places, tour dates". Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  3. "Salient review". Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  4. "BroadwayBaby review, 2014". Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  5. "Fringe review, 2014". Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  6. "Profile: Paolo Rotondo, Director". Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  7. George Gardner, "Waiheke Island's Orphans & Kingdoms movie premieres on home turf," Stuff News, 13 April 2016
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