Mediterranea reaches eight European cities through simultaneous screening

Mediterranea reaches eight European cities through simultaneous screening

Yesterday (11 November), the LUX Prize held one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year during the LUX Film Days: the simultaneous screening of Mediterranea, the first feature by Italian-US filmmaker Jonas Carpignano - one of the three finalists for the award - in eight different European cities. The screening was followed by a Q&A session with the director, moderated by Cineuropa editor-in-chief Domenico La Porta, live from the Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels.


Mediterrranea had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, in competition in the Critics’ Week, and since then it has garnered wide critical acclaim during its festival run. The movie revolves around two young men from Burkina Faso and their odyssey from their home country to Italy, where they end up in the region of Calabria during the violent riots of 2010 in Rosarno. Unfortunately, the problems of migrants in Europe are now a pressing social and political concern that must be addressed by the different member states, and so Carpignano's feature appears to be very relevant and urgent to be represented at the LUX Prize’s exhibition initiative.


The special evening was announced weeks ago by the organisation, and as a result, the event in the Belgian capital was completely sold out way in advance, with hundreds of people on the waiting list. After the simultaneous screening, the Q&A was live-streamed from BOZAR to other European cities: 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 Aarhus (at the Cinema Paradis). All of the attendees at the different venues were able to participate by live-tweeting questions using the hashtag #LuxPrize.


During this session, which more than lived up to the audience's expectations, Carpignano discussed the entire production process involved in Mediterranea: from the idea, locations and casting to his devoted collaborators on the project - including director Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and singer Rihanna, both of whom were involved in the soundtrack for the film. Asked about the purpose of the feature, the director said that his main goal was to “give faces to the headlines that have been bombarding us for years”, raising awareness about the struggles of thousands of real human beings. “I am incredibly optimistic. Many things have already changed. The living conditions remain difficult, but I feel that people are now becoming more concerned. People in Italy, for example, are getting used to the situation and accept integration as something we need to discuss,” according to Carpignano.


The LUX Film Prize awards ceremony will take place on 24 November in Strasbourg, where the Members of the European Parliament will vote and announce the winner from among the three shortlisted candidates: MediterraneaDeniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang, and Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov’s The Lesson. The prize will be handed out by Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, and the winning film will be further promoted and adapted for the visually and hearing-impaired.

Gallery Images: