Jonas Carpignano’s ‘A Ciambra’ Is Italy’s Oscar Contender

Italy has selected Jonas Carpignano’s slice-of-life drama “A Ciambra,” set in a Romani community in southern Italy, as its candidate for the foreign-language Oscar.

Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, “A Ciambra” stars Pio Amato as a 14-year-old growing up in a Romani community in Calabria. The coming-of-age drama has been described as a companion piece to “Mediterranea,” Carpignano’s debut feature which played at Cannes Critics’ Week in 2015. Amato played a secondary character in “Mediterranea.”

“A Ciambra,” which harks back to Italy’s neo-realist cinematic heritage, launched from this year’s Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight, where it won the  Europa Cinemas Label Award. It will be released in North America by Sundance Selects.

The film was produced by Stayblack Productions, RT Features, Sikelia Productions, RAI Cinema, in association with DCM, Haut et Court, Film i Vast and Filmgate Films.

Italy last won a foreign-language Academy Award in 2014 with Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty,” which marked its 11th foreign-language Oscar. The win consolidated Italy’s status as the holder of the most statuettes in that category.

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