The meeting of the director with the protagonist and Scorsese made the movie come to life.
‘A Ciambra‘, directed by Jonas Carpignano, is the Italian movie candidate representing Italy in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars 2018. Son of American mother and Italian father, the 33-year-old director, grew up between New York and Rome. He went to live in Gioia Tauro in 2011, where he filmed several short movies and ‘Mediterranea‘ before directing ‘A Ciambra‘, the story of Pio, a 14-year-old Gypsy.
Among his fans there are Nanni Moretti and Martin Scorsese, who is also the executive producer of the film. “The meeting with Martin was a turning point, I got the funds right away,” Carpignano said, “Martin changed my life: it took five years to find the money for ‘Mediterranea‘, which did not even come out in Italy. Thanks to him in two months I had the funds for ‘A Ciambra’. He is the great ambassador of the film.” Scorsese involvement was also crucial during the selection stage; he apparently wrote a very nice letter about the movie, trying to convince the commission to choose it.
About Pio, Carpignano recounts: “The first encounter with the Gypsy community was kind of weird. I set foot in Gioia Tauro and my car with the equipment disappeared. I went to search for it and ended up in the Ciambra, which struck me with its energy: a place out of the world, with other rules and another morals. Thanks to Pio, everything changed: before this movie nobody had ever set foot in their homes, they were generous.” The director wishes to be able to take Pio with him to the Oscar Awards, but he thinks that he will have a hard time convincing him to board a plane. “We went to Cannes with the whole family and I spent the afternoon at the First Aid with Pio’s father in the grip of panic attacks. For them it’s difficult to leave Calabria, never mind Italy.”