Scorsese-produced “A Ciambra” is Italy's Oscars Pick.
The unconventional choice to use a family of untrained actors has won Jonas Carpignano a chance at an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. Italy, which has won the most foreign language Oscars, has decided on Carpignano’s A Ciambra as its candidate. A Ciambra has already won the Europa Cinemas Label Award from the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight where it premiered. The official announcement of Oscar nominees will be named January 23, 2018.
A Harsh Reality
Centering around a poor Romani family in Calabria, Carpignano tells a coming of age drama about a 14-year-old boy, Pio Amato. Although the film is fiction, the Amato family that stars in A Ciambra does not differ greatly from the family that they portray in the film. Everything from their home to the clothes on set are their own to demonstrate the actuality of the world in which they live. The neorealism reflects on a genre from Italy’s past and portrays the hardships and difficulties of minority groups in Italy without any Hollywood glamorization of the truth.
To achieve raw authenticity, Carpignano, a New York born Italian American director, lived in southern Italy with marginalized communities to fully embrace and understand the story that he wanted to tell. With A Ciambra, Carpignano sheds light on all aspects of humanity, especially those that are often looked over and left out.
A Winning Collaboration
Martin Scorsese’s involvement in the film has also gained A Ciambra well deserved attention. Scorsese funded the film in partnership with Emma Tillinger Koskoff’s Sikelia Productions, and RT Features as a continuous project to help emerging filmmakers. Carpignano greatly appreciated Scorsese’s involvement in his film and told Variety that Scorsese’s “cinematic expertise during that process was invaluable” when creating a film that needs to capture chaos in a way that resonates with an audience.