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BLACK ITALIAN FILM SHOWCASE, a celebration of Afro-Italian talents in film

  • 30 Apr 2022
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • FilmNorth, 550 Vandalia St., Suite 120, St. Paul, MN 55114
  • 0


  • Limited free seating reserved for BIPOC community members and students. Please contact to reserve your spot.

Registration is closed

Update 4/25/2022: JUST ADDED: "I AM FATOU" by AMIR RAMADAN

BLACK ITALIAN FILM SHOWCASE is the first celebration of Afro-Italian talents in film, showcasing new features and shorts and illuminating the historical, social, and cultural aspects of Black life in Italy through film, offering the opportunity to see a diverse representation of Italy.

The series is organized by the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul in collaboration with FilmNorth (Minneapolis), Do The Right Films (New York), Black Italia (Rome).

The series includes the screenings of: “Blaxploitalian 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema” by Fred Kudjo Kuwornu (Italian Film Festival of Minneapolis / St. Paul 2018), “I will not forget you” by Laila Petrone, “Idris” by Kassim Yassin Saleh, “Indovina chi ti porto a cena” (Guess who I bring you for dinner) by Amin Nour and "I am Fatou" by Amir Ramadan.

Curated by producer-director Fred Kudjo Kuwornu, this retrospective of Italian of African descent filmmakers deals with questions of colonialism, diversity, global black diaspora, gender, race, and identity that are best answered by those who live Italys integration day to day.

Film screenings will be introduced and followed by a discussion in person with the director, Fred Kuwornu.

Light appetizers and drinks will be served.

All films screened in Italian with English subtitles
Discussions in English

“Idris” Kassim Yassin Saleh (13 mins.)                                                                                                                   
Idris, 10 years old, is a young Somalian refugee. On the 15th of August, not only he is in a foreign country, without parents, in a group home inhabited by small misfits demons, from 5 to 14 years old, but he is also forced to socialize, submitting to their aquatic games, in a run-down city pool.

Indovina chi ti porto a cena by Amin Nour (13 mins.)                                                                                                                        

A young man from Somalia but raised in Rome is getting ready to meet the parents of his girlfriend, a Russian girl raised in Italy and living in Albano. The story focuses on the hours before the meeting takes place, following the life of our young protagonist, Mohamed, 25 years old.

 "I am Fatou" by Amir Ramadan (18 min.)
Fatou is a 23-year-old Italian girl of Senegalese origin. She lives in a suburb of Rome with her mother, who would like to educate her according to the rigid impositions of her culture of origin. But Fatou is looking for her own identity that combines her black Muslim being with Italian society, and unlike most of her peers, the social stigma of the immigrant is imprinted on her, who isolates her and reduces her friendships with other young children of foreigners.

“I will not forget you” by Laila Petrone (12 mins.)                                                                                        

Still struggling with loss, a caring father and his daughter are moved by the Christmas spirit to connect with their Puerto Rican roots by reaching out to victims of the hurricane.

“BlaxploItalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema” 
by Fred Kudjo Kuwornu (52 mins.)           

BlaxploItalian is a diasporic, hybrid, critical, and cosmopolitan dimension documentary that uncovers the careers of a population of entertainers seldom heard from before: Black actors in Italian cinema starting from 1915 when the first black actor appeared in an Italian film. BlaxploItalian cleverly discloses the personal struggles classic Afro-Italian; African-American; Afro-Caribbean and African diasporic actors faced, correlating it with the contemporary actors who work diligently to find respectable and significant roles.

Fred Kudjo Kuwornu is an Italian-Ghanaian multi-hyphenate filmmaker, activist, educator, and producer, born and raised in Italy and based in New York where He founded his company production Do The Right Films. He is best known as the director of critically acclaimed documentaries such as Blaxploitalian, Inside Buffalo, and 18 IUS SOLI. His documentaries deal with political and social themes, such as racism, interracial relations, diversity, Afro-Italians and Black diasporic identity in Italy and the African diaspora in the world. Fred Kuwornu holds a Master of Arts in Political Science at the University of Bologna, Italy with a focus on sociology and mass communication studies. In July 2021, He launched the platform and "Teaching Black Italy" a one-week refresher online course for professors which explores the contemporary presence of the African diaspora in Italy.

Kuwornu is a Diversity & Inclusion consultant for Netflix Italy and other media broadcasters in Italy. He had taught courses and labs at Colorado College, University of Minneapolis, Middlebury College Italian Summer School, and lectured in more than 200 Colleges in North America. His production has been awarded and granted by New York Foundation for the Arts, Open Society, Cineteca of Bologna. He is currently developing "We Were There", a feature documentary about the African presence during the Renaissance in Europe.

Amin Nour, Italian-Somali, is a member of the Black Italian film collective in Rome. He is the director of two films on racism, Ambaradan (2017) and Indovina chi ti porto a cena (Guess who I bring you for dinner), winner of the 2018 MigrArti Prize competition of the Ministero dei Beni Culturali, Amin is also the founder of NIBI, Neri Italiani Black Italian.

Amir Ramadan is an Egyptian-Italian cinematographer. He started his studies in Milan where he lived up until the age of nineteen, then moved back to Cairo. In Egypt he attended the International Academy of the Science of Communication, specializing in Cinema. While still a student he started to work for film directors already well known in Egypt and the Middle-East. In 2010 he moved to Rome to collaborate in many movies with the Italian awarded cinematographer Marco Onorato. He worked as a director of photography in many projects around the world, tv series and features movies. In Italy he worked as a director of photography for many music-videoclips of Italian famous bands and also tv commercials.

Laila Petrone is an Italian-Dominican filmmaker. Born in the U.K., she was raised between Rome and Los Angeles. In 2007, she appeared as Pina in Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna. The experience inspired her to pursue a career behind the camera. In the following years, Laila worked as an Assistant Director and Producer. In 2014, Laila's directorial debut Your Love premiered at Urban World Film Festival in NYC. The short was awarded "Best of Festival" at the Black Women Film Network Summit in Atlanta and was selected to screen on Aspire TV as part of the ABFF Independent series’ short films program. Currently, Laila is working as director and co-producer of a docu-series titled Mothers and Daughters, exploring the stories and the relationships between several Latina mothers and their daughters who were born and/or raised in Italy. Laila is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors, Women in Media & Glass Elevator.

Kassim Yassin Saleh Born in the Republic of Djibouti, between Ethiopia and Somalia, is an Afro-Italian filmmaker, writer and actor.The 2017 short film “Idris”, premiered at the 2017 Venice International Film Festival in the special section MigrArti, written with Heidrun Schleef. In 2020 he directed “Il vento sotto i piedi” and the documentary “ Mirella”.

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