Marina has won Best Film at the Foggia Independent Film Festival in Italy (29 March–5 April). Stijn Conix’s film also won the Film Critics Prize. Italo-Belgian musician Rocco Granata, whose childhood inspired the story, was invited to the festival and surprised the audience with a brief performance after the awards.
Situated in Apulia in southern of Italy, the Foggia Independent Film Festival’s 13th edition featured a special focus on Southern Italian and Southern European cinema. Marina was partly filmed on location in the Foggia region.
The story of Marina starts 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 life of Italy but, after only a year, he summons them to join him in Belgium. As immigrants, they are housed in a miserable barracks, don’t speak the language and are as poor as they were before. Young Rocco, however, tries to adapt to his new surroundings and starts doing what he does best: playing music.
Marina received its world premiere last summer at the Montreal World Film Festival. It went on to win over festival-goers in Spain, where it won the Student Jury Prize at the Valladolid Film Festival. In its home territory, Marina quickly became a box office hit, with over 500,000 admissions.
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. The DOP was Lou Berghmans, and the film was edited by Philippe Ravoet. The film’s original soundtrack was composed by Michel Bisceglia. Marina received support from the Flanders Audiovisual Fund/Film Fund of Flemish Cultural Affairs Minister Joke Schauvliege.