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MEDITERANEAN TALES How a movie director and a writer tell migrations



MEDITERANEAN TALES  How a movie director and a writer tell migrations

European migrants' crisis is a crucial and present topic for our society. The ability to deal with it is currently at the center of the debate taking place within the European Union. Artists, directors, photographers and writers, have set for themselves the goal of telling the stories of those who leave their countries, for economic, political, and ethnic reasons, and face the difficult journey that leads toward the coasts at the borders of Italy. We have, thus, organized an encounter to discuss on the tools pertaining to culture and how those can be used to tell this epic migration of men, their despair and their hopes.


Gianfranco Rosi, director, author of the documentary FUOCAMMARE (Fire at Sea) winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, and currently in the movie theatres across the US.

Maaza Mengiste writer, author of a reportage from Lampedusa for Granta Magazine.

The meeting will be moderated by Andea Visconti, journalist.


Gianfranco Rosi is an Italian director, cinematographer, producer and screenwriter. His film Sacro GRA won Leone d'Oro (Golden Lion) at 70th Venice International Film Festival. Sacro GRA is the first documentary film to win the Leone d'Oro in history of the Venice film festival and the first Italian film to win in fifteen years, after Gianni Amelio's The Way We Laughed won the award in 1998. His 2016 film Fuocoammare ( Fire at Sea), a documentary focused on European migrant' crisis on the Sicilan island of Lampedusa, won the Golden Bear at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival. Rosi is the only documentary filmmaker to win two top prizes at major European film festivals (Cannes, Berlin and Venice) and is currently the only filmmaker besides Michael Haneke to win two top European festival prizes in the 21st century.

Rosi was born in 1964 in Asmara, Eritrea; during the Eritrean War of Independence, at just 13 years old, he was carried to safety in Italy in a military plane, leaving his parents in Eritrea. After living as a youth at Rome and Istanbul, at 20 Rosi moved to New York to attend the New York University Film School.


Maaza Mengiste is a novelist and essayist. Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was selected by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books and named one of the best books of 2010 by Christian Science Monitor, Boston Globe and other publications. Her fiction and nonfiction can be found in The New Yorker, Granta, the Guardian, the New York Times, BBC Radio,and Lettre International, among other places. She was the 2013 Puterbaugh Fellow and a Runner-up for the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Both her fiction and nonfiction examine the individual lives at stake during migration, war, and exile, and consider the intersections of photography and violence. She was a writer on the social-activist documentary film, GIRL RISING, which features the voices of actors such as Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, and Cate Blanchett. She currently serves on the boards of Words Without Borders and Warscapes. Her second novel, The Shadow King, is forthcoming.






Date: Monday, October 24, 2016

Time: From 6:00 pm To 8:00 pm

Organized by : IIC

Entrance : Free

The event is now full. We are not accepting any more reservations. Thank you.


Istituto Italiano di Cultura di New York