Aging patriarch, Franco Cozzo, holds court over an iconic furniture empire. A pioneer of Australian TV advertising, Franco’s tri-lingual catchphrase sparked a cult-of-personality as kitsch as his baroque bedheads. But his character is more than caricature. Propelled by ego and ambition, Franco’s journey from rural Sicily to the high streets of Melbourne is marked by fame, fortune and family drama. Discreetly, his furniture tells its own story, gracing the homes of an evolving aspirational migrant class. Charting Franco’s trajectory alongside the history of modern migration, PALAZZO DI COZZO explores the modest and majestic dreams of a man seeking to secure his legacy within multicultural Australia.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
This film is a celebration of how Franco Cozzo’s life has informed, inspired and enlivened us and, by extension, a celebration and promotion of the resilience and entrepreneurialism of migrant communities.
The project meets the aims of any philanthropic foundation with a mandate to fund projects that enhance the awareness and celebration of multicultural Australia. We will target foundations that give philanthropic support in order to enrich Australian life through the connection between the home and community.
Franco Cozzo funded, presented and produced Australia’s first non-English speaking television show, Carosello in the 1960s, and his infamous tri-lingual advertising campaigns continue his contribution to the assimilation of Italian culture in Australia. Franco’s generosity as a community figure has found him as a feature in art works, films, comedy skits, songs and as a guest at many community events. This mainstream cultural production should be taken seriously as a significant contribution to Australia’s cultural landscape and an understanding of ourselves as a migrant nation - its history is important to document and preserve.
This exclusive and intimate documentary portrait of Franco Cozzo presents an opportunity to contribute to an important and significant documentary record of an cultural icon.
Additionally, this film will document the post-war evolution of Australian culture and identity as marked by the changing face of migration. In the present, it will give an insight into the most recent waves of migrants by entering the homes of people who are purchasing Franco’s furniture today – those from the Chinese, African and Middle Eastern communities. The film will use furniture as a lens through which to reveal how taste and homemaking can speak to Australian multiculturalism by drawing links between these diverse communities through the common themes of the challenges of migration and a shared taste.