A 2017 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary and the first documentary to win the prestigious Berlin Film Festival grand prize. Fire at Sea depicts Lampedusa, a once peaceful Mediterranean island that has become a major entry point for African refugees into Europe. There, we meet Samuele, a 12-year-old local boy who lives simply, climbing rocks by the shore and playing with his slingshot. Yet nearby we also witness thousands of men, women and children trying to survive the crossing from Africa in boats that are too small for such a journey. Filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi masterfully places these realities side by side, and in so doing creates a remarkable third narrative that jolts us into a new understanding of what is really happening in the Mediterranean today. Rosi’s powerful work is hailed by the New York Times as taking “a hard, empathetic look at reality, which contains wonders as well as horrors.(…) He observes, with humility and precision. Instead of raising awareness, he cultivates alertness. ‘Fire at Sea’ occupies your consciousness like a nightmare, and yet somehow you don’t want it to end.” The film will be followed by a discussion with Professor Dana Renga (Ohio State University), a specialist of contemporary Italian cinema, and local documentary filmmaker Andrea Torrice. Torrice has made numerous documentary films about social issues and the environment.