Crialese has dedicated many of his films to these very themes, winning the Venice Film Festival Critics' Prize for his latest feature, Terraferma (Dry Land). It tells the story of African boat people who reach Sicily, where they are caught in the conflict between the islanders' culture of aid to seafarers and the Italian government's anti-immigration policies.
Crialese will hand out prizes to festival winners on July 7, and will speak to the public about his experiences shooting his films Terraferma and Novomondo, both of which will be screened.
Also present will be UNHCR spokesperson Laura Boldrini, who helped Crialese track down Timnit T., a refugee who survived a 2009 shipwreck on Lampedusa, and who agreed to appear in Terraferma.
Also screening will be Andrea Segre's Green Blood, Marco Ottavio Graziano's Emigrants, Aluk Amiri's Welcome to Italy, and The Missing People by Andrea Fenoglio and Diego Mometti.
Festival activities will also include a legal training seminar with emphasis on the rights of minors, run by the Association for Juridical Immigration Studies (ASGI, in its Italian acronym), as well as theatre performances, literary readings, and exhibitions. (ANSAmed).