Watch The Trailer For Jonas Carpignano's Buzzworthy Migrant Drama 'Mediterranea'

Sundance Selects has picked up Jonas Carpignano's critically acclaimed 'Mediterranea,' a film about the complex migrant experience in Italy.

Screenshot via YouTube

Since premiering at Cannes earlier this year, the critically acclaimed film Mediterranea has sparked a major buzz around Italian filmmaker Jonas Carpignano. Not only is the film on the shortlist for this year's prestigious European Parliament LUX Prize, but it has also been picked up by IFC/Sundance Selects: a well-timed acquisition considering the timely plot. At the center of Mediterranea lie two friends seeking a better life outside of their native Burkina Faso, Screen Daily reports. They embark on a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to southern Italy only to find that the local community is anti-immigration, making for a more than difficult adjustment.

Born in New York to an Italian father and Barbadian-American mother, 30-year-old Carpignano told Variety in May that the film's theme did indeed come from a personal place.

"Growing up in Rome and having an African-American mother in Rome was clearly a very sensitive situation," he said. "Not that there was outward prejudice. That certainly didn’t exist. But you sort of become aware of being the kid with the black mom."

He also revealed how he identifies himself as a filmmaker, having spent most of his life between Italy and New York: "Sometimes I feel like an Italian director. But I feel that when I make movies in Italy I bring a different perspective, a different methodology to it. A guerrilla filmmaking style like mine doesn’t really exist in Italy, so I feel lucky that I can bring my American experience into that."

Watch the trailer and a clip for Mediterranea's French release below and stay tuned for news on the film's US release dates.

Spotted at Shadow & Act

Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Qatar Museums

Influential Louis Vuitton And Off-White Designer Virgin Abloh, Dies at 41

The popular Ghanian-American designer had been battling a rare form of cancer in private for several years.

The fashion industry has lost a talented, unique, and boundary-pushing influence this weekend.

41-year-old Ghanianian-American designer Virgil Abloh has died after a 2 year battle with a rare form of cancer, a statement from his associates LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said on Sunday. Abloh, founder of luxury streetwear brand Off-White, and artistic director of men's wear at French fashion house Louis Vuitton leaves his wife Shannon, and 2 children - Lowe and Grey. Chairman and CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault said in a statement, "We are all shocked after this terrible news. Virgil was not only a genius designer, a visionary, he was also a man with a beautiful soul and great wisdom." "The LVMH family joins me in this moment of great sorrow, and we are all thinking of his loved ones after the passing of their husband, their father, their brother, or their friend," he added.

After the news broke on Sunday, Abloh started trending on Twitter, with fans of the designer remembering his influence on music, art, and fashion. The 1990s saw Abloh DJ and the creative director once told The Guardian in a 2016 interview, "When the phone is off, I play my favorite songs really loud for myself, and I'm not talking to anyone. I'm not managing anything. It's just like a time when I can listen to music… I'll be DJing after I'm done designing or doing anything else." Virgil got his hands into designing album artworks after strumming up a friendship with American rapper Kanye West before becoming the creative director of West's DONDA Creative House. More recently known for his creative streetwear brand 'Off-White' the designer became popular among fashion-conscious youngsters and will forever be immortalized.

A statement posted to Abloh's Instagram explained that "Virgil chose to endure his battle privately since his diagnosis in 2019, undergoing numerous challenging treatments, all while helming several significant institutions that span fashion, art, and culture"

Friends, fans, and colleagues took to social media to share their well-wishes for Virgil as he transitions to his next destination.

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How Relocating to Ghana Helped Reinvigorate Jewelry Designer Aisha Asamany's Work

Moving to Ghana gave Aisha Asamany's luxury jewelry brand, inspired by Adinkra symbols that traditionally project strength, fearlessness, love and power, renewed verve to tell personal stories of her growing clientele.