Ruggero Gabbai studied Film Directing at Columbia University where he graduated in 1993, there he collaborated with directors such as Milos Forman, Emir Kusturica, and Martin Scorsese. His thesis project was also his first documentary The King of Crown Heights was aired on prime time by PBS America and it is distributed worldwide. In New York, he funds the post-production company Arc pictures. In 1994 he returns to Italy.
His documentary Memoria, filmed in Auschwitz is selected for The Berlin Film Festival in 1997 and wins numerous prizes. Since then, Ruggero has directed more than 25 documentaries revolving around many subjects, such as IO RICORDO, docu-fiction based on the testimony of the relatives of the victims of the Sicilian mafia. The film received the High prize from the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano. His documentary The Longest Journey focuses on the compelling story of the Italian Jews of Rhodes that were deported from the Greek island to Auschwitz. The film has been selected at the 30th Jerusalem International Film Festival and has been broadcast by RAI in the International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2014. He has directed CityZEN about the notorious neighborhood known as ZEN built on the outskirts of Palermo ruled by the Mafia. In 2016 he directed Starting Over Again, a documentary about the exodus of the Jews of Egypt between 1948 and 1956. In 2017 he produced and directed the film Libia: l’ultimo esodo, a documentary portraying the life of the thriving Jewish community in Libya and in its capital, Tripoli from the Postwar period to the rise of Gheddafi.