Franco E. Prosperi is an Italian documentary filmmaker and film director.
It is not to be confused with its namesake, the action film director Francesco Prosperi.
Prosperi graduated in science and agriculture and specialized in ichthyology as a student of Edoardo Zavattari at the University of La Sapienza in Rome. He soon became one of the pioneers of underwater research and led expeditions in the Indian Ocean, for which he also received the L'Arpione d'Oro award.
By 1955 he also shot around 25 nature documentaries. He then decided to end his academic career in favor of one in film.
With Paolo Cavara and Gualtiero Jacopetti, whom he had met while filming his documentaries, he has been making several Mondo films since the early 1960s, the founders of which he can count on. In 1983 he made his only feature film as a director.
From the late 1970s, Prosperi returned to ethnological and natural issues, for which he conducted research in Kenya, Uganda and other African countries.