March 15, 2017

Filmmaker to present documentary

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Several Southern Illinois University Carbondale departments are sponsoring a presentation by filmmaker Fred “Kudjo” Kowornu on the history of African Italians in Italian cinema on Wednesday, March 22. 

Korwornu will present his 2016 documentary and discuss “Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema” at 5:30 p.m. at Carbondale Community Arts, 304 W. Walnut St. The event is free and open to the public. 

The College of Mass Communication and Media Arts’ Global Media Research Center, along with the Center for International Education, are sponsoring the event. While at SIU, Kowornu will also speak to classes and critique student work, Jay Needham, a professor in the Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media, and interim director of the Global Media Resource Center, said. 

The documentary uncovers the careers of a population of entertainers seldom heard from before -- African-American and African descent actors in Italian cinema. The film examines the personal struggles classic African-Italian and African diasporic actors faced, and mirroring those struggles with contemporary actors. The film also analyzes diversity and typecasting in all international media industry. 

The panel discussion will feature Kowornu and Cinzia Padovani, an associate professor in the Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media. Needham will serve as moderator.