Italian immigration series continues with film screenings

February 16, 2024
Poster for Nuovo Mondo Sept 2023
Film poster for Billo for CIC Nuovo Mondo series

The Center for Italian Culture at Fitchburg State University will continue its 2023-2024 programming series, "Nuovo Mondo: A Century of Immigration from and to Italy," with a series of film screenings that focus on recent immigration to Italy from diverse perspectives.

Admission to the screenings, all of which will be held in Ellis White Lecture Hall in Hammond Hall, is free and open to the public. 

The events will also include a virtual workshop in April for those interested in applying for Italian citizenship.

The screenings begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 29 with Billo - Il grand Dakhaar (2007), an Italian comedy directed by Laura Muscardin. In this quasi-documentary film, hip-hop designer Thierno Thiam is the star of his own real-life story as a Senegalese boy who arrives in Italy in search of fortune with the desire to work in the fashion industry, but life puts him face to face with tragicomic situations. 

The series continues at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21 with a screening of Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea) (2016), a gripping Italian documentary film directed by Gianfranco Rosi. This film, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, was shot on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa during the on-going European migrant crisis, and sets the dangerous Mediterranean crossing by migrants against a background of the ordinary life of the islanders.

The film series continues at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2 with Maka (2023), which tells the story of Geneviève Makaping's life in Italy and perilous migration journey. The Cameroonian-Italian anthropologist and writer is the first black woman to serve as the editor of a newspaper in Italy. Inspired by Makaping’s book Reversing the Gaze, the film offers a poignant reflection on displacement, identity, and belonging. Following the screening, Associate Professor Kevin McCarthy of the Communications Media Department will facilitate a virtual question and answer session with the film’s director, Simone Brioni.

The center will also host a virtual workshop on applying for Italian citizenship at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 16. Information on signing up for the forum, presented by the Vermont Italian Cultural Association, will be posted to the CIC’s programming page at