Announced earlier this week, it’s a multiple 2016 Spirit Award nominee in the Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay and Best Male Lead categories. What I didn’t realize is that the film is actually now out in the USA, both in theaters (although a very limited release) and on VOD platforms. New Yorkers can see it on the big screen (which I recommend) at the IFC Center (it’s playing there through December 1); the rest of you can rent it to stream at home via Amazon. I will do watch it some time this weekend – whether at IFC or at home via Amazon – and share my thoughts likely next week.
One of three films selected to contend for the 2015 prestigious LUX Film Prize, "Mediterranea" by Jonas Carpignano, his debut feature, was picked up by Sundance Selects some months ago. The topical immigration drama that made its world premiere at the La Semaine de la Critique (International Critics’ Week) – a parallel section of the Cannes Film Festival that focuses on discovering new talents – earlier this year, follows a young Burkinabe man who leaves his native Burkina Faso in search of a better life, making the perilous journey to Italy, only to find he’s unprepared for the intolerance facing immigrants in that country.
Carpignano’s film assesses the very fragile and topical issue of Mediterranean crossings by immigrants seeking freedom and safety.
The 30-year-old filmmaker, with a mother originally from Barbados and an Italian father, Carpignano has spent his life between New York and Italy. He broached familiar territory in his multiple award winning short film entitled "A Chjàna," 3 years ago. His latest short film, "A Ciambra," also won the Discovery Award at the 53rd Critics’ Week at Cannes. Carpignano also participated in the Sundance Writers & Directors Lab in 2012 and was awarded the Mahindra / Sundance GFA Award.
Interview magazine published a worthwhile piece with the filmmaker earlier this week, which I encourage you to read here before or after seeing the film: http://bit.ly/1lMfYwQ.
A trailer for "Mediterranea" (which is also a Gotham Independent Film Awards nominee) is embedded below.