Alessandro Ago is the Director of Programming and Special Projects at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he programs film screenings, festivals, guest speakers and special events. In addition to programming popular courses taught by film critic Leonard Maltin, and Pulitzer Prize-winning television critic Howard Rosenberg, Ago also curates Outside the Box [Office], a screening series dedicated to bringing new international, documentary and independent cinema to USC, often followed by conversations with the filmmakers, which Ago moderates.
He has produced festivals celebrating the work of Dino De Laurentiis, John Wayne, Roger Corman, Costa Gavras, Maurice Jarre, Albert Broccoli and the James Bond franchise, as well as world cinema showcases focusing on Japan, Italy, Bollywood, South America, and the Middle East. With a special interest in Italian cinema, Ago has hosted events with Roberto Saviano, Mario Monicelli, Lina Wertmueller, Gabriele Salvatores, Claudia Cardinale, Pupi Avati, Marco Bellocchio, Dario Argento, and Franco Nero. In 2013, he produced a major retrospective of the seminal ABC television series "Twin Peaks", featuring panel discussions with 50 members of the cast & crew.
Ago lectures frequently about Italian cinema at the Italian Cultural Institute in Westwood, California and has taught undergraduate film courses at USC, including Transnational Nightmares and Filmmaking, Italian Style, and most recently, Italian Genre Cinema and Society.
He co-produced the 2006 & 2007 editions of Los Angeles - Italia: The Film, Fashion and Art Fest at Mann's Chinese 6-plex, as well as the 2006 Capri - Hollywood Film Festival in Capri, Italy.
He also works for the Sundance Institute as a judge in the International Documentary department, helping to select films for competition for the annual Sundance Film Festival.
He is also one of the curators for the American Film Showcase, an international film diplomacy program funded by the U.S. Department of State, that has taken Ago to Cyprus, China, Egypt, Tajikistan, Mexico, and many future destinations.
Both an Italian and American citizen, he grew up in Washington D.C. and Rome, Italy. He holds a bachelor's and master's degree from the USC School of Cinematic Arts' Critical Studies division.