After completing the award winning short film After the Fall as an undergraduate at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Michele Civetta signed a production deal with bi-coastal HKM Productions / Directors Bureau. Since that time he has helmed numerous projects for an array of commercial clients ranging from Martini & Rossi, Cingular Wireless, Badoit, Dunkin' Donuts, Bacardi, and Coca Cola to The Partnership for a Drug Free America. Civetta has also directed music videos for a spectrum of recording artists such as Lou Reed, Sparklehorse, Ladytron, Edward Sharp & the Magnetic Zeros and Yoko Ono. In 2006 Mr. Civetta opened up his own production company Quintessence Films with partner Manu Gargi to produce commercial, video and film projects. First up, Mr Civetta wrote, produced and directed an ambitious and critically praised musical feature for Sean Lennon's Capitol Records release Friendly Fire starring Lindsay Lohan, Asia Argento, Carrie Fisher & Devon Aoki. The 50-minute film is available on DVD in a 2-disc set accompanying the album and debuted January 2008 on HDNet channel. In 2009 Mr. Civetta produced a series of 42 films for Bacardi based on Dreams. The project premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and included work by an international slate of directors including David Lynch, Gaspar Noe, Kenneth Anger, Harmony Korine, Leos Carax and Mike Figgis. Quintessence initiated a new director’s series of films for fashion brand Hogan with a lead off 3-D film by Larry Clark to premiere during Milan fashion week fall 2010.
Civetta is currently in pre-production on a film based on the international bestseller Coin Locker Babies in Japan. The film is a co-production between Don Murphy's Angry Films (Natural Born Killers, Bully, Transformers) and the French production company Wild Bunch (City of God, Irreversible, Che) and stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Jamie Cambell Bower, Rinko Kikuchi, Asia Argento, Tadanobu Asano and Val Kilmer. Mr. Civetta is also prepping a film with Agnes B/ Love Streams productions based on the life of the Chevalier de Saint George.
In October 2016, the Italian Consulate in NYC hosted a retrospective screening of Mr. Civetta's work.
The most recent commercial Mr. Civetta has filmed for NBC has been nominated for a 2016 Emmy Award.