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IFC Films’ Sundance Selects has acquired North American rights to distribute Jonas Carpignano’sfilm A Ciambra, which premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. The movie was executive produced by Martin Scorsese, produced by Stayblack, RT Features, Rai Cinema, DCM, Haut et Court, with the contribution of MiBACT, Sikelia Productions, Film I Vast, Filmgate and the support of Lucania Film Commission and Fondazione Calabria Film Commission.

Carpignano, whose debut film was already distributed in the U.S.A. by Sundance (Mediterranea, DCM, Audax Films, Blu Grotto, Court 13 Pictures, GoodFilms, GoodLap Production, Grazka Taylor Productions, Hyperion Media Group, Le Grisbi, Maiden VoyagePictures, Nomadic Independence Pictures, Sunset Junction, TreehousePictures), is clearly enthusiastic: “It’s been a long road to Cannes” – the 33-year-old director said – “and I’m happy that Sundance Selects has decided to work together again”.

The film takes place in the Ciambra, a Romani community in Calabria, and follows the one-night events of Pio Amato’s life, a 14-year-old boy (playing himself, like the rest of the cast) whotries to step into his brother’s shoes when the brother disappears. Martin Scorsese said that “the work Carpignano has done on this film is really noteworthy: the world he shows is so real, so intimate, that I felt as if I was living alongside these people”.

Jonathan Sehring and Lisa Schwartz, co-presidents of IFC Films, said: “With his debut film, Jonas Carpignano established himself as one of the most promising young directors in the world. A Ciambra represents the best of what cinema can show us about different cultures, giving us hope for the future. We are thrilled to be working with Jonas again.”