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IO CAPITANO Trailer: Matteo Garrone’s Oscar-Nominated Immigration Drama Arrives This Month

As we are getting closer to the 96th Academy Awards, one of the nominees for Best International Feature will finally head to U.S. theaters on February 23, just around the corner. Io Capitano is the eleventh feature from writer-director Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah, Dogman), which also premiered at the 2023 Venice Film Festival where it won both Best Director for Garrone and Best Young Actor for breakout actor Seydou Sarr. The film is a modern-day fairy tale that explores the adventurous, yet perilous journey of of two young boys, Seydou and Moussa (Seydou Sarr and Moustapha Fall), who leave Dakar to reach Europe. A surreal odyssey through the desert, the sea, and the uncertainty of the human soul. Cohen Media Group has just released a new U.S. trailer ahead of its release coming very soon.

HtN’s own Jack Schenker spoke with Garrone about the film, with the director saying, “What pushed me to tell this story was that in Europe this kind of thing happens all the time. We see on the news every day about a new boat of migrants. Sometimes alive, sometimes dead. These people often leave their families and take this risk based on their dreams, desires, aspirations, and passions. The idea for the movie was to show the parts of this journey that not many people know about. I wanted to give a voice to people who often do not and tell the story from their point of view… We did tons of research to make sure our depiction was as accurate as possible. It was such a privilege to work with people who had been through such things.”

Here’s the official synopsis:

In this acclaimed film which won top directing and acting prizes at the Venice Film Festival, writer-director Garrone presents a “reverse shot” of the immigration experience while unfurling an epic, cinematographically magnificent odyssey from West Africa to Italy. The story is told through the mind’s eye and experiences of two Senegalese teenagers living in Dakar who yearn for a brighter future in Europe. Yet between their dreams and reality lies a treacherous journey through a labyrinth of checkpoints, the scorched Saharan desert, a fetid North African prison, and the vast waters of the Mediterranean where thousands have died packed inside vessels barely fit for passage.

See the official U.S. trailer and poster below.

IO CAPITANO Official U.S. Poster


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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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