At the Foggia Independent Film Festival in Italy (29 March – 5 April), Stijn Conix’ Marina has been awarded Best Film, while the feature was also given the Prize of the Film Critics. Italian-Belgian musician Rocco Granata, whose childhood inspired the story, was invited to the festival and after receiving the two awards, surprised the audience with a small performance.
Situated in Apulia, in the South of Italy, the Foggia Independent Film Festival organised its 13thedition with a special focus on South-Italian and South-European cinema. Upon invitation by the artistic director of the festival, Marina was added to the line-up of the feature films section, having been filmed partly on location in the region of Foggia.
The story of Marina takes of in 1948 in Calabria, when poor ironsmith Salvatore Granata decides to leave Italy for Belgium to earn more as a coalminer. He leaves his family, including his spirited son Rocco, behind to enjoy the warm Italian life but after only a year he summons them to come to Belgium as well. As immigrants they are housed in miserable barracks, they don’t speak the language and they are still poor. However, young Rocco tries to adapt to his new surroundings and start doing what he does best: playing music.
Last summer, Marina received its world premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival. It went on to convince audiences in Spain, where it was awarded the Student Jury Prize at the Valladolid Film Fetival. In its home territory, Marina quickly turned into a box office hit with over 500,000 visitors.
Stijn Coninx and Rik D’hiet scripted Marina, which sees Luigi Lo Cascio (La meglio gioventù), Donatella Finocchiaro, Matteo Simoni and Evelien Bosmans (Germaine) in the main roles. Director of Photography was Lou Berghmans, Philippe Ravoet edited the film. The film’s original soundtrack is a composition by Michel Bisceglia. Marina could count on the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.