Archive of films A Ciambra / A Ciambra

Italy / USA / France / Sweden
2017, 120 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2017

Some movies are magical, and Jonas Carpignano’s A Ciambra is one of them. The movie screen disappears, and for two hours the viewer becomes part of Calabria’s effervescent Roma community, where 14-year-old Pio tries desperately to grow up and become the equal, for better or worse, of his older brother. Although his duel with the local underworld is mismatched, Pio is determined to become a man at any cost.


Some movies are magical, and despite focusing on real people and real places, Jonas Carpignano’s A Ciambra is one of them. Ciambra is a Roma community in Calabria, Italy, where 14-year-old Pio lives with his large family. Pio tries desperately to grow up and become the equal, for better or worse, of his older brother, who earns money in legally dubious ways and is considered an adult by the rest of the community. One day, his brother disappears and Pio more or less succeeds in taking his place. But his duel with the underworld is mismatched. A diverse range of characters (from local elders to African immigrants), the scent of a campfire, throbbing music from the local club, and the struggles of surviving from one day to the next – all this is Pio’s world. Jonas Carpignano returns to Ciambra, where he shot his eponymous short film; through patient work with nonprofessional actors he gives us a glimpse of a community that is usually closed off to the outside world.

Anna Purkrábková

About the director

Jonas Carpignano (b. 1984, New York City), director and screenwriter, spent his childhood in Rome and New York and later enrolled at Wesleyan University. He has been living and working in Calabria, Italy, for the last five years and, in 2012, attended the Sundance Institute Directors and Screenwriters Labs, where he received one of the top awards. His two short films A Chjàna (2011) and A Ciambra (2014) served as preparation for his subsequent features. In the first of these he introduces us to African immigrant Ayiva, the heroine of his debut feature Mediterranea (2015), which was shown in 2015 in Cannes' Critics’ Week. A Ciambra was likewise made into a feature in 2017, this time developing the story of young Pio; it was shown earlier this year as part of Directors’ Fortnight.


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About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Horizons
Director: Jonas Carpignano
Screenplay: Jonas Carpignano 
Dir. of Photography: Tim Curtin
Music:  Dan Romer
Editor: Affonso Gonçalves
Art Director: Marco Ascanio Viarigi
Producer: Jon Coplon
Production: Stayblack Productions, RT Features, Sikella Productions, Rai Cinema
Coproduction: DCM Pictures, Haut et Court, Film i Väst
Cast: Pio Amato, Koudous Seihon, Iolanda Amato, Damiano Amato


Jonas Carpignano

Film Director

Fiorella Moretti

Sales Agent


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