Mediterranea
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    Mediterranea

    Directed by

    Italy, France, USA, Germany, Qatar

    2015

    107 min

    • French
    • English
    • Arabic
    • Italian

    Drama

    Ayiva recently left his home in Burkina Faso in search of a way to provide for his sister and his daughter. He takes advantage of his position in an illegal smuggling operation to get himself and his best friend Abas off of the continent. Ayiva adapts to life in Italy, but when tensions with the local community rise, things become increasingly dangerous. Determined to make his new situation work he attempts to weather the storm, but it has its costs.

    Awards

    • Lux Prize Finalist 2015
    • Special Jury Mention (International Competition) - Zurich FF
    • Best First Film, Best Actor (Koudous Seihon), Telia Film Award - Stockholm FF
    • Special Mention (Actor Koudous Seihon) - Cinémamed
    • FEDEORA Prize (International Competition) - IFF Belgrade FEST
    • FACE Film Award of the Council of Europe (Human Rights in Cinema Competition) - Istanbul FF
    • Special Jury Prize (European Program) - Prishtina IFF

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Cast
    Koudous Seihon
    Alassane Sy
    Screenplay
    Jonas Carpignano
    Cinematography
    Wyatt Garfield
    Editing
    Nico Leunen
    Affonso Gonçalves
    Sanabel Chiraqoui
    Music
    Benh Zeitlin
    Dan Romer

    Director's Statement

    My mother is African-American and my father is Italian. Therefore, when the first Italian racial riots took place in 2010 in Rosarno, I rushed to Calabria to get a better grasp of the situation. At first, I wanted to make a short film about the revolt, but eventually, after meeting Koudous Seihon (Ayiva), I knew I would make a feature film dealing with the different aspects of the incident.

    Ayiva and Abas are the two faces of the same person, like the two sides of the same coin. Ayiva is the more mature and responsible one, but also the more troubled. Abas is the livelier of the two, capable of benefiting from the joys of the moment without thinking of further consequences. The two friends often fight, but neither of them can make it without the other. They represent two complementary paths in facing life in a foreign country.

    How Italy welcomes migrants is what interested me the most. We think we know already about their journeys: the crossing and then the hundreds of Africans reaching our shores by boat each year, but we ignore what comes afterwards. For me, this was the starting point. I also wanted to pin down the ambiguity of compassion and how it sometimes turns into a patronizing attitude, which may well come from a lack of knowledge. The immigrant is not just an outsider, the feared or celebrated stranger, depending on one’s ideological beliefs, but he is a component of growing importance in our globalized world. That is why the title, MEDITERRANEA, is a plural, standing for this meeting ground, this space of conflicts, and most of all, this place that cannot be defined according to its borders.

    Production
    MEDITERRANEA FILM
    Sales
    LUXBOX

    Press

    Mediterranea is a powerful neorealist punch, so loaded with prescience, so relevant to our here and now, that it practically explodes off the screen.

    Ben Croll, Twitch Film

    An equally insightful portrait of southern Italy.

    France24

    A powerful look at the migrant crisis in Europe.

    Eric Kohn, Indiewire

    If a movie as rich and understanding as Mediterranea suddenly appeared every time we read about a difficult issue in the paper, maybe all of the world's problems could be solved.

    Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian

    This stirring Italian migration tale is one of the stand-outs of the Critics' Week strand.

    David Ehrlich, Little White Lies

    Carpignano's movie, in its bracing compassion and complexity, transcends mere “topicality” and goes far beyond what a news report might give us.

    Alex Ramon, Pop Matters

    A striking debut... Beautiful illustrated.

    Peter Debruge, Variety

    Carpignano’s quietly stirring debut demonstrates palpable artistic integrity, and shows that suffering is not the whole story.

    Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment

    Jonas Carpignano

    Jonas Carpignano

    Italy

    I think it's important not to be didactic. The power of cinema is allowing an audience to connect to characters. Allowing an audience to see and experience something in a film, though other people, is way more powerful than reading pages and pages of stats. Facts can be misleading and emotions can be very very real.

    Born January 1984. Jonas Carpignano spent his life between Italy and the USA. His short films A CHJANA and A CIAMBRA have won prizes at several film festivals including Venice and Cannes, the later winner of the Sony CineAlta Discovery Prize at La Semaine de la Critique in 2014. MEDITERRANEA is his first feature film and was shot in Calabria where he lives and presented in the competition of La Semaine de la Critique.

    Selected Filmography