Born in Sant'Agata di Militello, a comune in Messina, Sicily, documentary filmmaker Francesco Lama started his career as journalist before venturing into directing and screenwriting in the late 1990s. Over the years, he's written numerous short stories, commercial spots, plays and documentaries, often recounting the pride in his Sicilian origins.
In 2012, Lama presented his documentary Un Affettuoso Ricordo at the Alchemist Film Festival of Capo d'Orlando, located near his hometown. The documentary captures a moment in time during the dog days of ordinary life in Capo d'Orlando. The film consists of restored 8mm and super 8 films and testimony by people who lived during this period in time, many of whom contributed the old videos, some of which go back 70 years ago.
Check out the enchanting trailer...
Lama's latest effort, I Siciliani, focuses on Ignazio Bonaventura (Antonio Emanuele) who lives in a little village in Sicily. Struggling to make a living, he sets out to write about about Sicilians, thus setting out on a journey to meet and talk with as many famous and regular people as he could find. Those characters turn out to be renowned actors such as Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Leo Gullotta, Tony Sperandeo, Pietrangelo Buttafuoco and Ninni Bruschetta. During his journey, he also comes face to face with several members of organized crime and politicians alike. He asks each of them, somehow representing different aspects of Sicilians, about several mysteries shrouding the way of thinking of such a complex people. In doing so, he hopes to learn more about himself. The journey takes him through changing landscapes and dialects, revealing the love and pride that Sicilians feel for the bordering sun and sea that surrounds their region. The result is a documentary film about the people and places of Sicily as it represents the Sicilian people and their land in a real, non-fiction way.
Check out the trailer with English subtitles..
The U.S. premiere will take place at Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò in New York on April 9. The following day, Francesco Lama will hold a masterclass at Montclair University and on April 11, there will be a meeting with the Federation of Sicilians in New Jersey. Actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta will attend the events along with the director.