Pasquale Scimeca shoots Balon, from the Nigerian desert to Sicily
by Camillo De Marco
- After Biagio, the director is back on set to tell the story of the escape of a brother and sister who are made orphans by the war with jihadi militants
Pasquale Scimeca is back on set after his last film Biagio [+see also:
film profile], which was presented in competition at the ninth edition of the Rome International Film Fest. Indeed filming started just a few days ago on Balon, the story of the escape from Nigeria to Europe of a brother and sister, Amin and Isoké, who are made orphans by the war with the jihadi militants of Boko Haram, who have destroyed their village and killed their parents.
"We see them arrive every day on barges and decrepit rubber dinghies: they’re mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, children with lost looks in their eyes who are fleeing war and famine, persecution and poverty”, says the director. "We know all about the shipwrecks, the landings, the heroes who save them from the abyss of the sea. What we don’t know is why they embark on such terrible journeys, and what happens in the desert or in Libya. That’s why I decided to go to Africa. To try to understand and then show people in a film. A film that I hope will help people to understand that there’s no use in being afraid, or in building walls, digging trenches and erecting barbed wire fences".
Filming for Balon will last eight weeks and will take place in Sierra Leone, Algeria and Sicily.
The story and screenplay are by Pasquale Scimeca himself. The cast of the film features Vincenzo Albanese, a favourite actor of the director, and in their debut roles on screen, David Koroma as Amin and Yabom Fatmata Kabia as Isoké. Balon is an Arbash production in partnership with Rai Cinema, and is supported by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism – Directorate General for Cinema.
(Translated from Italian)