Italian Ghanaian director and activist Fred Kuwornu will come to Villa Sassetti at 6 p.m. on April 21 for the dialogue “Diversity in the Film Industry,” part of the “Race, Racism and Xenophobia in a Global Context” series that NYU Florence is organizing this semester. Kuwornu will present his documentary “Blaxploitalian: 100 Years of Blackness in the Italian Cinema” (2016), which explores the careers of black actors in Italian film. The documentary’s website describes it as “a call-to-action for increased diversity” and more dignified roles for these actors.
Ethnic diversity is a special interest of Kuwornu. He founded Association Diversity Italia, a non-profit organization that uses film and other art forms to create awareness of the importance of racial and ethnic diversity in Italy and Europe. He has also been a guest lecturer and keynote speaker at conferences on ethnic diversity at universities like UCLA, Yale, Brown, Columbia and Oxford.
Kuwornu was born and raised in Italy and is currently based in Brooklyn. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and mass media from the University of Bologna. He was part of the production crew for Spike Lee’s “Miracle at St. Anna” (2008), a film that tells the story of the segregated African American combat unit in the 92nd Infantry Buffalo Soldiers Division that fought in Italy during WWII, and produced and directed “Inside Buffalo” (2010), a documentary about this subject. “Inside Buffalo” won Best Documentary at the Black Berlin International Cinema Festival. He also produced and directed “18 IUS SOLI” (2012), a documentary which examines the quest for citizenship of children of immigrants born and raised in Italy.