Venice Film Fest to screen film defying Fortess Europe

Beach ceremony for 'Io Sto con la Sposa', release on 9/10

03 September, 20:33

    A scene of the film 'Io sto con la sposa' A scene of the film 'Io sto con la sposa'

    (ANSAmed) - VENICE - The three directors and the protagonists of the film 'Io Sto con la Sposa', at an out-of-competition screening on Thursday, will be holding a beach procession on Thursday to commemorate those who have died fleeing conflict while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. At the Excelsior beach, participants will write down a few lines in memory of those who have died. The slips of paper will then be put into a bottle and thrown out to sea - which some of them crossed in the attempt to defy 'Fortress Europe'. An announcement was made on Wednesday that film would come out in cinemas on October 9. The story is one of a fake nuptial procession staged by three visionary and courageous directors - Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele del Grande, and Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry - to help five Palestinians and Syrians who fled conflict and landed on Lampedusa to continue their undocumented journey across Europe. From Italy to Sweden, through a carefree Europe with a sense of solidarity that scoffs at border control with a facade that has more than a touch of the unbelievable in it, but which actually occurred on the way from Milan to Stockholm between November 14 and November 18, 2013. If a criminal complaint is filed against the directors, they could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for aiding and abetting undocumented migration: 'Io Sto con la Sposa' is not only a documentary, it is also an act of civil disobedience. ''We are tired of dividing human beings into 'legal' and 'illegal' ones. And we are tired of counting those who have died trying to cross the sea. They are not victims of a storm, they are the victims of European laws - ones that the time has come to disobey in order to reaffirm the principle of the right to move freely,'' said Gabriele Del Grande, who founded the observatory Fortress Europe a few years ago, which gathers stories and photos of the thousands of migrants arriving dead or alive on the coasts of Europe's borders.

    ''When you see people from your country coming and you know that they are fleeing war...,'' added the Syrian poet and refugee in Milan Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry, ''you feel that you are doing the right thing. Helping even a single person to get out of that sea awash in blood makes you feel you are on the right side.'' The result is a film that does not speak about 'others', it speaks about 'us': a story of a Mediterranean friendship that ends up talking about borders using an entirely different vocabulary. ''We sought out a new angle to look at it,'' said Antonio Augugliaro, ''without seeing people simply as victims or commiserating with them. The film is first and foremost a story that seems an adventure, a dream, and a mask at the same time,'' with a style that one might say resembles that of a Kusturica film, albeit an almost volunteer one on a very low budget. This may be why 'Io Sto con la Sposa' has been spoken about online for months, since a crowdfunding campaign was initiated on May 19. In only 60 days a record-high 100,000 euros were raised, donated by 2,617 producers - the highest amount ever raised in this way in the Italian film world and one of the highest worldwide for documentary films. ''It was an extraordinary, innovative process, an entirely new productive process,'' said Marco Visalberghi from DocLab, an associate producer of the film - which was produced by Gina Films - and the producer of 'Sacro GRA', the Italian film that won a Golden Lion last year at the Venice Film Festival.

    ''We got out of the ever-narrower cage of financing and television programming, creating a direct relationship with a community of financiers, and ended up bringing the film to the attention of the world and broadcasters.''(ANSAmed).

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