|Creators||Granese, M. and Alamouti, D.|
In the forgotten regions of Southern Italy, a filmmaker puts out a casting call looking for individuals to star in a film about their lives, and their divided town.
In this hybrid of documentary and fiction, a filmmaker puts out a casting call in a small, neglected town in southern Italy, looking for actors to play apart in a fiction film based on their lives. The auditions attract radically different people, each with different reasons for auditioning. Some just want to be famous and use the audition as a means to an end but for others the auditions become a way of exploring feelings, situations or just telling their story. For example, a middle-aged electrician, made redundant after 25 years with the same company, wants to explore the anger he felt losing his job; a lonely, struggling van driver in his mid-40s wants to be in the film to increase his self-esteem and better his social life (in the hope of meeting a partner); a local town bard (in his 70’s) who plays his out of tune, melancholic ballads, hopes that by being in the film his musical talents will one day be discovered.
Amongst these auditions, there are also young people from West Africa and the Indian sub-continent, new arrivants, who live in the two refugee centres housed in the town. These refugee centres were built by the mayor as a way of creating jobs for the locals, but the presence of “outsiders” in the town has created deep seated tensions amongst the town folk, many of whom do not want them in their town.
These auditions reveal another side of life in the towns. A young Nigerian woman in her early twenties shares her dreams of finding work so she does not have to turn to prostitution like her friends; another male from Senegal wants to use his audition to challenge a local employer for not paying him for his work because he was an African; and a male from Gambia who re-enacts the moment he was racially abused by a local.
In the second part of the film, a selection of these individuals play the main roles in a fictional film based on and inspired by their auditions. The fictional and documentary elements taken together create a rich tapestry exploring themes of belonging (and not belonging), racism, nativism, poverty, love and rage, and provide a complex vision of a modern Europe struggling with issues of racism and integration.