Cannes: Sundance Selects Acquires Jonas Carpignano’s ‘A Ciambra’

Sundance Selects, the division of IFC Films known for distributing critically acclaimed foreign-language films, has acquired Italian filmmaker Jonas Carpignano’s drama “A Ciambra.” The film premiered Friday in the Cannes Film Festival’s Director’s Fortnight section, and marks the first film to be produced under Martin Scorsese’s new fund to help emerging filmmakers.

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“A Ciambra” is set in a small Romani community in Calabria, Italy, where 14-year-old Pio Amato is desperate to grow up fast. He follows his older brother Cosimo everywhere, learning the necessary skills for life on the streets, but when Cosimo disappears and things start to go wrong, Pio sets out to prove he’s ready to step into his big brother’s shoes.

“Shot with a vérité intimacy that physicalizes Pio’s ability to float between worlds — a trait that captures and complicates the character’s nomadic heritage — ‘A Ciambra’ seems uncomfortable with the identity crisis in which Pio soon finds himself,” Indiewire’s David Ehrlich wrote in his review.

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Carpignano caught the attention of the film world with his critically-acclaimed debut feature film “Mediterranea,” which premiered at Cannes in 2015 as part of the Critics’ Week lineup and was also acquired by IFC Films’ Sundance Selects label. Last week, the company acquired the North American rights to Claire Denis’ “Let the Sunshine In” at Cannes.

IFC entered Cannes with four titles last year, and bought just one during the fest, but it picked a winner in “I, Daniel Blake.” The film took the Palme d’Or, following up IFC’s 2015 Palme d’Or winner “Dheepan.”

“A Ciambra” premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. 

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