Elisabetta Sgarbi stepped into her new role as a director with the video-clip on Mariko Mori, shot in Brooklyn, and between 1999 and 2001 she has realized various shorts:
- Hold me tight, hold me tight (15', with Franco Petter, 1999), inspired by a speech on rock and poetry at the University of Vercelli;
- Anonymous. Hallo? [Anonimo. Rispondere?] (5'29", 1999) was selected for competition at the 17th Torino Film Festival, in the section 'Spazio Italia';
- Fla (green video) (7'42", with Matteo Bellizzi, 1999), presented at 18th Torino Film Festival and at the Future Film Festival 2001), making of the filmic presentation of the Future Film Festival 2000, produced by Antonio Rezza and Flavia Mastrella;
- Fragments of a biography for verses and voice [Frammenti di una biografia per versi e voce] (4'20", 1999), with Franco Battiato and Manlio Sgalambro (winner of the Premio Duel Rockumentary at BresciaMusicArt 2000 and of the Premio Videoclip Indipendenti at the Festival delle Etichette Indipendenti 2000 in Faenza, broadcasted in fuoriorario - Raitre on October 12, 1999);
- Inside a greenhouse (an Arab struck by west escape) [In serra (un arabo colpito dalla fuga occidentale)] (6'20", 1999), a short occasioned by a Bluevertigo's song;
- Starless (3'27", 2000), shortlisted at the Festival Internazionale del Film Turistico 2000, a metaphysical short movie shot on Po delta;
- Thir(s)ty [Se(t)te] (19'30", with Paolo Mosca), shortlisted at the Brooklyn Film Festival 2000, New York, a worked out episodic short;
- Treasure Island [L'isola del tesoro] (8'50", 2000, filmed with Paolo Mosca in La Isla de la Juventud, shortlisted at Bellaria's film festival, Brooklyn Film Festival 2000, NY, Fano Film Festival 2000, Moliterno in corto, Moliterno (PZ), Cinema Shorts Film Festival, NY);
- John Richmond doesn't know that (that is to say, the video is missing) [John Richmond non lo sa (ovvero, il video che non c'è)], (11', 2000), backstage of one of "La Sintesi" video-clips;
- this is my chocky message (10'45", 2000, featuring Chocky and Hanif Kureishi, shortlisted at Cortinametraggio-Festival Internazionale del Cortometraggio 2000, shortlisted at the London Film Festival 2001);
- A bit more [Ancora un po’] (10'25", again featuring Paolo Mosca, 2000), shot near the Po delta, where Rezza and Mastrella had previously filmed Murder at Po [Delitto sul Po];
- Projeto meninos de luz (10', 2000) docu/me(a)nt centered upon the worldwide famous novelist Paulo Coelho; - (not always) merci beaucoup [(non sempre) merci beaucoup] (8'50", 2000), filmed during a live concert of the Sicilian crooner Nicola Arigliano (the short film was broadcasted in fuoriorario - raitre on March, 22 2001), shortlisted at Fano Film Festival 2001, winner of Premio Rock Targato Italia 2001 for innovating video clip direction;
- The relief and the painful thorn [La consolazione e la spina dolorosa] (7'16", 2001), featuring Manlio Sgalambro (broadcasted in Eurovision and world vision in Oui Med, Una notte per il Mediterraneo - Raidue on March, 31 2001), shortlisted at Fano Film Festival 2001;
- alladin flash (-back) (15', 2001), featuring Umberto Eco;
- Disease [Malattia] (4'36", 2001, video clip for a song by Castadiva)
- On Milan Theatre Strehler's behalf, she performs two theatre shorts for the programme Backstage, taken from Eimuntas Nekrosius' Othello (9'10", 2001) and from Yasmina Reza's Life x three [Tre versioni della vita] (7'55", 2001, directed by Piero Maccarinelli)..
- In August 2001, she accomplished a documentary entitled Beauties by night [Belle di notte] (46'50", 2001): the main character is the director Luciano Emmer in dialogue with the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi on Villa Borghese (the title is itself a homage to Emmer's documentary entitled Beauty by night [Bella di notte]).
During the same month, she co-directed with Luciano Emmer a documentary on Balthus entitled Nostalgia, produced by Palazzo Grassi and RAI; she also shot a video clip in collaboration with Federico Pizzo entitled Wainer (12'50", 2001) that focuses on the painter Wainer Vaccari.
In 2002 she accomplished:
- The trembling night - Gianfranco Ferroni [La notte che si sposta - Gianfranco Ferroni] (31', March 2002), on Arialdo Ceribelli’s request, who looked after his works. The film has been presented during the 59ª Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica Biennale di Venezia, in the section New Territories.
- a short movie using a 35mm film: Rue de Varenne (15', January 2002)
- the back-stage of the film by Luciano Emmer The water… the fire [L'acqua...il fuoco] together with The loving conversation [La conversazione amorosa], featuring Luciano Emmer and the French novelist Alice Ferney.
In 2003 she realizes:
- Beauties by night [Belle di notte] a new version (33' length) of the 2001 nearly homonymous film, presented at the Torino Film Festival in 2001, and at the Festival Arcipelago as well as at the Premio Libero Bizzarri..
- Ghosts of voice [Fantasmi di voce] a film focused on painter Antonio Stagnoli, commissioned by Arialdo Ceribelli
- In Catajo's castle [Nel castello del Catajo] (18' 2003)
- The second part of the Literary Conversations, Do we know each other? [Ci conosciamo?] This time Luciano Emmers talks with Erica Jong.
On the occasion of the Mantua Festival 2004, Elisabetta Sgarbi shot the concert Between words and music [Tra parole e musica] by Andrea De Carlo.
In 2004 realised Endless Night is Love Betrayal Incest [Notte senza fine - Amore, Tradimento, Incesto] starring Anna Bonaiuto, Laura Morante, Galatea Ranzi, Toni Servillo, distributed by Istituto Luce;
Palladio – The light of reason [La luce della ragione] (60’), with an audio commentary by Vittorio Sgarbi, of which there is a shorter version - not commented - realized for Ville Venete Regional Organization; I tempi del sole, e della luna (30'); the videoclip Insopportabile on a song by Castadiva;
In 2005 she accomplished Two versus One [Due contro una] with the writer Corinne Maier, author of the best-seller Bonjour paresse
At the End of 2005 she realizes two [due], presented at Festival di Letteratura e Cinema 2006 - Bologna, with Michael Cunningham and Michel Houellebecq.
In 2006, she accomplished:
- I am going to snow [NevicheRo] images of memory, inspired by Luigi Ghirri's photos and Appearances - Mathias Gruenewald [Apparizioni-mathias gruenewald];
- Tresigallo, where the marble is sugar [Tresigallo, dove il marmo è zucchero], Locarno’s Festival 2006
- the sequel of This is my chocky message, titled Watch football together
- and A Voyage into the Sea of Truths [Un viaggio nel mare delle verità]
- The Weeping Statue
- In May 2007, from an interpretation by Giovanni Reale of the Spring by Botticelli, Elisabetta Sgarbi shot The Hidden Marriage [Le nozze nascoste] (20')
- In September 2007 she shot Alfa's building stolen to cinema [La palazzina dell'Alfa rubata al cinema].
In 2008, she realizes Don't ask us for words. Il Sacro Monte di Varallo [Non chiederci la parola – Il Gran Teatro montano del Sacro Monte di Varallo]
In 2009 she completes the Trilogy on Sacred Sculpture with: The Last Ascent. The Via Crucis by Beniamino Simoni [L'ultima salita. La Via Crucis di Beniamino Simoni], La Stanza della Segnatura.
In 2009 realizes the video A veil of celestial silk. The Flight of the Kite [Un velo di seta celeste. Il volo dell'aquilone] and Deserto Rosa. Luigi Ghirri [Deserto Rosa. Luigi Ghirri] that has been presented during the 66th Mostra del cinema di Venezia, in the section Horizons.
In 2010 she starts working at the Sanctuary of Mongiovino in Tavernelle for the film The Mother and the Cross [La madre e la croce].
She's also working on Forgetting Tiziano. Girolamo Romanino in Pisogne [Dimenticare Tiziano. Girolamo Romanino a Pisogne].
She realizes Se hai una montagna di neve tienila all'ombra, produced by RaiCinema, with interviews by Edoardo Nesi (Premio Strega 2011) and Eugenio Lio, presented at 67th Mostra del Cinema di Venezia.
In 2011 she realizes:
- Rehearsals for a Shipwreck of the Word [Prove per un naufragio della parola] with Fabrizio Gifuni and Sonia Bergamasco - an inquiry on avant-guardes entitled Quiproquo, with interviews by Eugenio Lio to Italian artists and various representatives of Italian culture
- A Silent Fight – Andrea Martinelli [Lotta silenziosa – Andrea Martinelli] a conversation between Andrea Martinelli and the Italian writer Edoardo Nesi
- The Invention of Ariosto – Tullio Pericoli [L’invenzione di Ariosto – Tullio Pericoli] regarding the realization of a graffito in the Case Cavallini Sgarbi;
- I was left Speechless [Sono rimasto senza parole] a dialogue between the painter Antonio Stagnoli and the witer Pino Roveredo.
In 2012 she realizes two movies devoted to Trieste: Trieste: the disputed city and Miss Vila's Journey presented during the VII edition of the Rome Film Festival (2012) and What is vanguard?.