The award winning period drama, Il Moro will have its in person world première at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. This stunning directorial debut by Daphne Di Cinto has won 2022 Best Italian Short Film at Rome’s Fabrique du Cinéma Awards and will feature at the 30th anniversary of the Oscar qualifying festival, running April 18th to May 4th 2022.
Il Moro, which translates to ‘the Moor’ – the obscure Duke’s nickname, is a beautifully shot 22 minute short based on the life of Alessandro de’ Medici, the very first Duke of Florence, who also happened to be mixed-race, son of a woman of African descent and of Pope Clement VII. A timely story, with strong, subtle performances from seasoned actors, Alberto Boubakar Malanchino, Paolo Sassanelli, Balkissa Maiga as well as from newcomer Andrea Melis and an incredible soundtrack by The Niro, performed by Loretta Grace and Lorenzo Tronconi, have only added to the anticipation of the film’s release felt by the growing global community around the film.
The piece aims to give voice and representation to Europeans of African descent. Di Cinto, who played Sarah Basset in the Netflix series Bridgerton, explains “Il Moro aims to be an ode to self-love for Black-Italians, Afropeans and the African diaspora, a reminder that we are an integral part of European history beyond the way it has portrayed us up until now”. She adds that “this isn’t just black history, it’s an intersection, the prelude to a diverse society that should have been honored generations ago. Part of Greenlight Project’s mission is to spotlight characters that have been painted out of the picture and restore a positive and inspiring perception of black identity today.”
Associate Producer Taylor Re’ Lynn stated: “I was so moved by the first black Western European head state’s story, told though an Afro-European female director’s lense. I am so glad this narrative of hope is being shared with such creative power.”
Co-Producer Yasmine Holness-Dove adds that, “Il Moro isn’t a film about race and being black, it’s about belonging, self-identity and stepping up into leadership. It’s about taking ownership of your circumstances regardless of how uncomfortable or ugly things get. These are universal themes that most of us can relate to and, I’m sure, real issues the first Duke of Florence would have had to contend with.”
Alessandro de’ Medici is legitimized into the Medici family, one of the most prestigious Italian families of its time. But the son of an enslaved African woman and Pope Clement VII is haunted by the stigma of his low birth and a mother he only barely remembers. When he unexpectedly becomes the first Duke of Florence, Alessandro must come to terms with his roots and is forced to face his father’s inability to accept him, while fending off his cousin’s power-hungry attacks. Based on true events.
“Alessandro de’ Medici was the only person of color in the room over five hundred years ago. His is a story of extraordinary human grace bounded by a structural hierarchy designed to assassinate his humanity. This first Duke of Florence indeed inhabited some remarkable spaces and this motion picture shines a light on all of it. It was a deep joy to help bring this one to the people,” noted Associate Producer Franklin Eugene.
Produced by Greenlight Project and Onda Film, the movie stars Alberto Boubakar Malanchino (Alessandro de’ Medici), Paolo Sassanelli (Papa Clemente VII), and Andrea Melis (Ippolito de’ Medici). Producers include Daphne Di Cinto (executive producer), Yasmine Holness-Dove (co-producer), and Franklin Eugene, Taylor Re Lynn, L.A. Burgess and Jennifer R. McZier as associate producers.
The director is working on expanding the short film and developing it into a series.
To see the film, get your tickets at https://paff.eventive.org/films/61fd8411bb78700083f716b0
Additional film information can be found at: https://linktr.ee/Ilmorofilm
In the meanwhile, if you can’t catch a screening at PAFF, your eyes may feast on the movie trailer:
About Il Moro Director: Daphne Di Cinto
Daphne Di Cinto is a Black Italian screenwriter, director, actor and producer who has studied and worked in Rome, Paris, New York and London. An Actors Studio Drama School alumni, she has played the Duchess of Hasting in the Netflix series Bridgerton. Daphne is the screenwriter and producer of the short film Il Moro-The Moor, her directorial debut, winner of Best Italian Short Film at Fabrique du Cinéma Awards 2021. Daphne was a finalist of both Screencraft Film Fund Spring 2021 and the Phil Fox Award for Playwriting 2020 and a quarterfinalist of the Emerging Screenwriters Genre Screenplay Competition. As a screenwriter, she has developed both features and series within various genres, from comedy to sci-fi. Daphne is interested in topics such as immigration, integration versus assimilation, racial identity and the female gaze.
Greenlight Project Films
Greenlight Project Films LTD is a private limited company with a mission to highlight powerful character driven performances and restore a positive and inspiring perception of black identity today.
About The Pan African Film & Arts Festival
Established in 1992 by Hollywood veterans Danny Glover (The Color Purple, Lethal Weapon), the late Ja’Net DuBois (“Good Times”), and Ayuko Babu (Executive Director), the Pan African Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has remained dedicated to the promotion of Black stories and images through the exhibition of film, visual art, and other creative expression. PAFF is one of the largest and most prestigious Black film festivals in the U.S. and attracts local, national, and international audiences. In addition, it is an Oscar-qualifying festival for animation and live-action films, and one of the largest Black History Month events in America. For more on the festival, visit https://www.paff.org/