The film “Io Capitano” by Matteo Garrone, evoking the drama of African migrants, chosen to represent Italy at the Oscars

Matteo Garrrone’s film, released two weeks ago across the Alps, retraces the journey of these young Africans who decide to risk their lives to try their luck on the other side of the Mediterranean. He was chosen to represent Italy at the Oscars in the midst of a new migrant crisis in Lampedusa.

France Télévisions – Culture Editorial


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"Io Capitano" by Matteo Garrone will represent Italy at the next Oscars.  (Biennial Cinema 2023 / Allociné)

While Italy is facing massive arrivals of migrants on the island of Lampedusa, and the question of their reception divides Europe, the Italian National Association of Cinematographic Industries (ANICA) chose Wednesday evening September 20 to propose Io Capitano by Matteo Garrone for the Oscar for best international film.

In this film, released on September 7 in Italy, the director of Gomorrah relates the moving and chilling epic of two young Senegalese cousins ​​who decide to leave Dakar to try their luck in Europe. A perilous journey marked by grueling marches across the Sahara, torture in Libyan jails and Europe’s indifference to their plight. This film was chosen “for having embodied with great strength and cinematic mastery the universal desire for freedom and happiness“, explained ANICA.

In France in January

Io Capitano was also screened at the last Mostra, the Venice film festival. “We are very proud to be able to represent Italy“, reacted Matteo Garrone, quoted by the AGI agency, adding that he hopes that his film “will touch the hearts of the American public“. The French public will have to wait a little for the release of Me Captain is scheduled for January 3, 2024 according to Pathé, which distributes the film.

In a few weeks, the Academy of Oscars will select the five films in competition for the Oscar for best international film, among those submitted by foreign countries. They have until October 2 to send their application to the Academy. Scheduled for November, but postponed due to the writers’ and actors’ strike, the 96th Academy Awards will take place on March 10, 2024.

On the French side, five films were pre-selected, including the Palme d’Or at the last Cannes Film Festival. Anatomy of a fall by Justine Triet. A commission is responsible for deciding between them, it should announce the film chosen to represent France at the Oscars in the coming days.

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