The prestigious LUX Prize is preparing a special event this year that will revolve around one of the three finalists for the award – the most timely and urgent one, Jonas Carpignano’s migration tale "Mediterranea." For the first time, the exhibition initiative will host a simultaneous screening in eight different cities all over Europe.
The film, focusing on the story of the journey undertaken by two men from Burkina Faso to Italy, where they end up in Rosarno, Calabria, during the violent revolt of 2010, will be the centrepiece of the LUX Film Days in Brussels’ BOZAR on November 11. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with its director, Carpignano, moderated by Cineuropa editor-in-chief Domenico La Porta. The event will also be live-streamed from the Belgian capital after the simultaneous screenings in Paris (at the Forum des Images), Seville (during the Seville European Film Festival), Bratislava (at the Bratislava Film Festival), Cork (during the Cork Film Festival), Santiago de Compostela (at the Festival Cineuropa), Lisbon (at the CinemaCity Alvalade) and Bucharest (at the Cinema Studio).
The event will be accompanied by a live tweet hosted by ARTE, which the audience will be able to participate in via the #luxprize hashtag. The German-French TV channel, a partner of the screenings, will also stream the event live on its website.
Below, an early interview of what I’m sure will be many, many interviews to come for Jonas Carpignano, whose debut feature "Mediterranea" was picked up by Sundance Selects for North American distribution – although a release date has yet to be set.
Cineuropa spoke to the filmmaker ahead of the LUX event on November 25, during which, as one of these three finalists, the film will contend for the ninth edition of the LUX Prize.
It’s a brief but worth watching Q&A as Carpignano raps on a few key points, notably on the so-called "timeliness" of the film which 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.
As the filmmaker notes, "Mediterranea" wasn’t necessarily made to be topical or timely; it’s a project that’s very close to him, as he explains, and that he’s been working on for years, before all the media attention that is currently being focused on the many thousands of refugees from continental Africa (and elsewhere), making long and dangerous treks in hopes of better lives in the European Union.
He also talks about the specificity and what he hopes will be the power of the film to potentially affect change, no matter how small. And of course also talks about being a LUX prize finalist, and more.
The interview is at the bottom of this post.
"Mediterranea" 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.
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.
He’s definitely a filmmaker you should know, as I expect his name will be mentioned often on this blog in coming months and years.
A first trailer for "Mediterranea" is embedded below.
But first, here’s the Cineuropa interview:
And here’s the trailer: