Annalisa Piras

Journalist, Filmmaker & Managing Director
The Wake Up Foundation

Annalisa Piras is a London-based Italian film director/producer and journalist. She co-founded and directs The Wake Up Foundation (WUF), an educational charity that aims to foster transnational awareness of the current threats to Western societies through the use of films, and other media.

WUF currently runs the Wake Up Europe! campaign and has held in May 2019 the first Wake Up Europe Festival in Turin, Italy and other 9 European cities. The Festival is an innovative transnational concept, the first documentary film festival to awaken an European civic conscience and to stimulate a pan-european debate by using documentary films as an information and engagement medium.

Piras’ latest film, “Europe at Sea,” an ARTE-SVT co-production, was broadcast across Europe in 2018. The film, which has had exclusive access to the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, asks whether Europe is capable – and willing – to combat the myriad security and humanitarian challenges it faces by bolstering its collective defence and security structures.

In 2014, Piras wrote, directed and produced “The Great European Disaster Movie” for the BBC and Arte, a documentary on the erosion of the EU’s foundational values. The film won the German CIVIS Media Prize 2016 in the information category, it has been translated in 12 languages including Chinese and Farsi, and has reached over 3 million people across Europe as part of the Wake Up Europe! campaign.

In 2012, Piras directed and produced the documentary “Girlfriend in a Coma,” which she co-wrote with Bill Emmott, former Editor of The Economist and co-founder of WUF. The film was acclaimed as one of the sharpest analyses of the decline of modern-day Italy, and was nominated for an Italian Golden Globe (Best Documentary) and for a CinEuphoria Award (Best Documentary).

A frequent broadcaster and commentator on European and Italian affairs, Piras is a regular panellist on the BBC World London Dateline talk-show. She was previously the London correspondent for L’Espresso magazine and La7 TV, and has over 25 years experience producing documentaries and TV programmes for major EU broadcasters. She was the first Italian President of the London Foreign Press Association, founded in 1888.

Piras began her career as part of the original news team that launched Euronews, the first pan-European news and current affairs channel. She studied political science, history, and cinematography in Rome.