Film producer Giuseppe [Joseph] Janni was born on 21 May 1916 in Milan into a cosmopolitan Jewish family. His paternal grandfather was Chairman of Lloyd Triestino, specialising in shipping to India, and his grandmother was English. His father was born in Rangoon, Burma, and his mother had a Milanese Jewish background.
Janni grew up during the years of Mussolini’s rise to power. Whilst studying engineering at Milan, he became interested in film. Finishing his studies in 1939, he was not granted a degree because he was ‘of the Jewish race’. He left for London. Once Italy declared war he was briefly interned in Metropole Camp on the Isle of Man. Following his release he became an assistant to Jewish film producer John Sutro who ran Ortus Films.
In 1948 Janni set up his own production company Vic Films at no. 31 Burton Court, Franklin’s Row, Chelsea. His first film A Glass Mountain (1949) was a box-office success. He teamed up with John Schlesinger in 1962 to produce A Kind of Loving. His talent as a producer was most clearly expressed in Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971). Janni died in May 1994.