Jonas Carpignano's Film "Mediterranea" Screened at John Cabot University

Jonas Carpignano, director of Mediterranea

Professor Peter Sarram (left) and director Jonas Carpignano

“If a movie as rich and understanding as Mediterranea suddenly appeared every time we read about a difficult issue in the paper, maybe all of the world’s problems could be solved.” Jordan Hoffman, THE GUARDIAN

On October 19th, 2015, the Department of Communications and the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs co-hosted the screening of Mediterranea, a film that narrates the story of African immigrants crossing the Mediterranean in makeshift boats to reach Italy and the difficulties they encounter once there. Opening the screening, Professor Peter Sarram introduced the director of the movie Jonas Carpignano, highlighting that the film’s timely story needs to be told.


The Mediterranea poster

Writer/director Jonas Carpignano spent his childhood between Rome and New York and currently lives in Calabria, Italy. Mediterranea, his first feature film, had its world premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival (Semaine de la Critique) where it garnered rave reviews. The script for Mediterranea won the Sundance/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award and the film has been been picked up for distribution in many countries, including the United States, but not Italy.

As Carpignano pointed out, the film is neither a documentary nor a work of fiction. His goal was to have a project written, as he affirmed, “by life.” Indeed, Carpignano told the audience that he has been living close to Rosarno, Calabria — the location of the movie— for five years, letting his daily experiences permeate the script and the movie. For this reason, the director said that most of the actors he chose were not professionals, but people who actually experienced this tormented journey. For instance, the main character Ayiva (Koudous Seihon), who has just obtained his permit to stay in Italy, said that the movie was actually the replica of his own life.

When asked why Mediterranea has yet to be distributed in Italy, Carpignano explained that it could have to do with the fact that the theme of the film is an open wound for the country.

Learn more about the Department of Communications at John Cabot University.