festivals & awards:
Black Star is freely inspired by the true story of a real football team made up of refugees, the Liberi Nantes Football Club. I met the team in 2007 on a dusty pitch on the outskirts of Rome; the occasion was a match against a group of Roman kids. On the field a banner reading “free to play” appeared. I think my first idea for the film was right there in that “free to play”: the aspiration, that is, for a space to play in but also to live in and express oneself. It’s a need everyone shares, and it holds for a playing field just as it does for life, work, talent and love. It holds for a refugee, an illegal immigrant, but also for any ordinary Italian kid. We’re all looking for our own direction in life, our destiny, and a sphere of existence where we can be free. And we all sense that this potential freedom is threatened by fear and the precariousness of life. I didn’t want to make a film about immigration but tell a story of human relationships instead, poised between comedy and drama. The issue of immigration comes into the picture as a consequence, it’s a catalyst for the tensions between individuals thrown into a daily reality in which immigrants and non-immigrants are united by the uncertainty and precariousness of their situation, denied, all of them, of their identity and stability.