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Jonas Carpignano Talks “Timeliness” of His LUX Prize Feature Debut ‘Mediterranea’ & More (Video)

Jonas Carpignano Talks "Timeliness" of His LUX Prize Feature Debut 'Mediterranea' & More (Video)

An early interview of what I’m sure will be many, many interviews to come for Jonas Carpignano, whose debut feature “Mediterranea” – one of three films selected to contend for the 2015 prestigious LUX Film Prize – 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 LUX event on November 25, during which one of these three finalists will be awarded with 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. It’s for the film’s French release this month, so it’s not English-subtitled. But there’s so very little dialogue in it (a word here and there) that it shouldn’t interfere with your understanding of what you see, based on the above synopsis. Underneath the trailer, you will find a clip from the film, which does have English subtitles. 

But first, here’s the Cineuropa interview:


Watch a clip from “Mediterranea” below:

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