Jonas Carpignano’s sophomore feature follows 14-year-old Pio in a small Romani community in Calabria, Italy. The teen boy is desperate to grow up fast, and follows his brother Cosimo everywhere, learning the skills needed to navigate life on the streets of their hometown, and gaining the trust and respect of the region’s diverse factions — including local Italians, African immigrants and Pio’s fellow Romani. When Cosimo lands himself in trouble with the police, Pio must step up to fill his big brother’s shoes, and show his family he’s ready to become a man. Using nonprofessional actors, Carpignano infuses the story with biographical elements of his incredibly charismatic lead, Pio Amato, and his extended family, imbuing this story with a striking sense of authenticity. – Jenn Murphy
Jonas Carpignano was born in New York in 1984. He directed several award-winning short films before directing and writing MEDITERRANEA (AFI FEST 2015), his feature debut which screened in the 2015 Critics' Week in Cannes. His latest film, A CIAMBRA, is adapted from the short film by the same name, which played AFI FEST 2014.