Italian director Matteo Garrone recently got ahead of the curve with his take on Pinocchio (preceding four (!) new adaptations of the Carlo Collodi tale this year) and now he’s heading from fantasy into reality for his next project.

Garrone has begun shooting his next project Io Capitano (aka I, Captain) in Dakar, Senegal. Scripted by the director alongside Massimo Gaudioso, Massimo Ceccherini, and Andrea Tagliaferri, the film follows the hazardous journey of two young men (newcomers Seydou Sarr and Moustapha Fall), who leave Dakar for Europe. Descripted as a “contemporary odyssey through the dangers of the desert, the perils of the sea and the ambiguities of the human soul,” production will then head to Morocco and Italy.

Reports indicate that for the coming-of-age adventure, Garrone was inspired by the true stories of a number of young people who made the same journey, including Kouassi Pli Adama Mamadou, Arnaud Zohin, Amara Fofana, Brhane Tareke, and Siaka Doumbia. As we await a likely 2023 festival premiere for the film, check out Garrone’s recent work, a short film for Dior, below.

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