A young man makes a perilous journey from Burkina Faso to Italy in Jonas Carpignano’s poignant and exquisitely crafted first feature. Refreshingly astute in his approach to character, the filmmaker weaves a fictional narrative based partly on the lived experiences of mesmerizing lead Koudous Seihon. The actor brings a heartfelt gravity to his character, Ayiva, whose hoped-for better life in the southwestern town of Rosarno gets off to a rocky start. Robbed by bandits in Algeria and rescued by the Coast Guard off the shores of Italy, Ayiva is given three months to miraculously procure a work contract in a country facing its own share of serious employment woes. Employing vérité style, Carpignano has an almost organic way of revealing the story that gives it reality and heart. In putting a deeply human and personal face on the hot-button issue of immigration, Mediterranea
also announces Carpignano as a director to watch.
Co-presented by Italian Cultural Institute