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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2015: #88. Jonas Carpignano’s Mediterranea


Director: Jonas Carpignano // Writer: Jonas Carpignano

Formerly going by A Chjàna, the same title as the short film (see pic above) on which this is based on, Mediterranea has all the earmarks of a being a sizzler of a title that trail-blazes. A filmmaker who is known internationally, Jonas Carpignano saw A Chjàna win the Controcampo Italiano Award for Best Short at the Venice Film Festival and parallel to working on the feature, earlier this year, he won the Discovery award in Cannes Critics’ Week for A Ciambra. With a bevy if support from producers and fund/labs support alike, this received coin and support from the 2012 Creative Producing Summit, 2012 June Screenwriters Lab, 2012 Directors Lab, 2012 SFFS Grant, 2013 Berlinale Talent Campus, 2013 SFFS/KRF Grant Recipient, and 2013 Sundance Institute/Mahindra Global Filmmaking Award. Equipped with what we believe is a set of non-professional actors, we’re expecting a pulsating, detonating and deteriorating expose on the immigrant experience. This is the story of Ayiva, a 28-year old from Burkina Faso who seeks a better life in Europe, so he can provide for his wife and daughter back home. Along with his best friend and brother-in-law Abas, they go on a harrowing journey across the Sahara, where they are beaten, arrested, robbed, and forced to work menial jobs to earn money for their crossing. Then, Ayiva captains an overcrowded boat across the Mediterranean, and when a storm hits, many of the passengers drown. Should be a downer — exactly the kind we like.

Cast: A cast comprised of unknowns.

Producers: Maiden Voyage’s Chris Columbus and Eleanor Columbus (Little Accidents),  Jason Michael Berman, Audax Films’ Andrew Kortschak (Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia), Court 13’s , DCM Productions’ Christoph Daniel and Marc Schmidheiny, Good Lap Productions, Le Grisbi’s John Lesher, TideRock Media, and Treehouse Pictures’ Justin Nappi (99 Homes), Nomadic Independence Pictures’ Ryan Zacarias (The Comedy), Ryan Lough, Gwyn Sannia, and Victor Shapiro.

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available

Release Date: Seeing that this wasn’t part of the Sundance selections, we’re looking towards a Cannes sidebar section world premiere at any of the sections on the Croisette: Un Certain Regard, Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week. Festival premiere in 2015 with theatrical release the year after.


Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.


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