ACCORDING TO THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER:
The Golden Bear-winning documentary on the refugee crisis, Italy’s official submission for the foreign-language film Oscar race, picks up another honor.
After picking up the Berlinale’s Golden Bear this year, Fire at Sea, Gianfranco Rosi’s documentary about the refugee crisis, has been touring the globe in anticipation of the Academy Awards next year.
The film will receive the European Movie of the Year award at the 21st Capri, Hollywood International Film Festival, which is held at the end of the year and over New Year’s, a crucial period for Oscar campaigning. The doc will be honored on Dec. 27 at the fest’s opening-night gala.
Fire at Sea is being submitted for Oscar consideration as both Italy’s selection for the best foreign-language film honor, as well as for the best documentary award.
”Rosi’s docu-film was selected unanimously as it portrays a contemporary and heart-felt real-life drama which carries a strong social message,” said festival director Lina Wertmuller, the first woman ever to be nominated for a best director Oscar.
Having previously won the Golden Lion in Venice for Sacro GRA, Rosi is the only documentary filmmaker to have won top prizes at two leading European festivals.
In Fire at Sea, he tells the story of the refugee crisis at Lampedusa, the island that is the first point of entry to Europe for boats coming from Libya. Over the past 20 years, 400,000 migrants have arrived on Lampedusa, with an estimated 15,000 having died trying to cross the Strait of Sicily.
Rosi made the film to draw attention to the current crisis. Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi even gave a copy of the film to each of Europe’s heads of state at a migration summit in Brussels this year. Fire at Sea opens in the U.S. later this month.
Capri also has announced a new program, “Cinema for Mercy,” to cap off Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy. The project is an international contest to honor short films created by young directors, which revolve around themes of morality.
“Such words as mercy, hospitality, dialogue, solidarity are going to be the common thread which will permeate the whole festival,” said Wertmuller. “Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy will soon be over and the contest aims at encouraging young authors to explore this issue.”
The end-of-year festival will include a short film contest revolving around the theme of Mercy.
Capri (Naples), Italy, October 9, 2016 – Gianfranco Rosi’s “Fuocoammare” has been named the “European Movie of the Year” by Capri, Hollywood — the International Film Festival. The director of the 2017 Academy Award® contender, which depicts the dramatic situation of the migrants in Lampedusa, will be presented with his award during the year-end Festival’s 21st edition which takes place on the Blue Island from December 26, 2016 to January 2, 2017. Israeli singer Noa is President of the Festival, and noted Italian filmmaker Lina Wertmuller is the Honorary President.
It was also announced that the Festival will feature ‘Cinema for Mercy’, an international contest which will present a number of short movies created by directors under 35, focusing on the theme of ‘Mercy’, a significant moral value welcomed by many different cultures.
”Rosi’s film was selected unanimously as it portrays a contemporary and heart-felt real-life drama which carries a strong social message,” said Lina Wertmüller and Noa. “Such words as mercy, hospitality, dialogue, solidarity, are going to be the common thread which will permeate the whole festival. Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy will soon be over and the contest aims at encouraging young authors to explore this issue’.
Noted documentarian Gianfranco Rosi was able to relaunch the documentary film genre in Italy when, in 2013, he presented his acclaimed “Sacro GRA”, a recipient of the Golden Lion Award at the 70th edition of the Venice Film Festival. His latest movie, “Fuocoammare,” was made after living closely – for over a year – with the people from Lampedusa, witnessing their helpfulness and solidarity (which includes the experience of Pietro Bartolo, a doctor working in the Health Facility of the island) as well as the touching stories of the migrants. This year the movie was also presented with the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, and in July it received the Social Award from Kerry Kennedy, at the 2016 Ischia Global Fest.
The 21st edition of Capri Hollywood, which traditionally paves the way for the international awards season, will be dedicated to the iconic producer Dino De Laurentiis, who from a suburb of Naples (Torre Annunziata) set out to conquer the world, achieving global fame and establishing a profound relationship with the Blue Island.
The Festival is supported by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (D.G Cinema), the Region of Campania (Department of Tourism and Cultural Heritage), the City of Capri and the Municipality of Anacapri.
Photo: Gianfranco Rosi and Kerry Kennedy @ Ischia Global Fest 2016. Italian director received “Ischia Humanitarian Award” for the movie “Fuocoammare” (Fire At Sea).