Netflix Announces Milestone Italian Original About Black Youths in Italy

Netflix has announced new Italian original titled “Zero” which will mark the first Italian series centered around the present-day lives of black Italian youths said its writer, Antonio Dikele Distefano, in a Netflix launch video posted on Youtube.

Dikele Distefano, a 27-year-old writer and TV music show host born in Italy from Angolan parents, said in the video that his groundbreaking skein will be about a black youth named Zero who “has a special power thanks to which he can know the reality of things and people that is concealed behind appearances.”

“For me — for a black kid who is Italian, like Zero, and who owes everything to Italy – the most beautiful thing is that this will be the first series in which the protagonists will be black Italian kids,” Dikele Distefano noted. 

“I hope that this [series] will open the door to black actors, creatives, and artists who have not yet had a big break,” he added. And went on to point out that “this story will reflect the lives of lots of kids, regardless of what color they are.”

Dikele Distefano, who grew up in the Northern Italian city of Ravenna, made his debut as an author with a self-published novel titled “Fuori piove, dentro pure. Posso passare a prenderti?” which can be translated as “It’s Raining Outside, And Inside As Well. Can I Come And Pick You Up?” The book was republished in 2015 by prominent Italian imprint Mondadori.

His most recent book, about a young black kid named Zero contending with hardship and racism in contemporary Italy, will provide the starting point for the series which will however have a different twist and “feature lots of rap [music] because “rap is the language of my generation,” he said.

Dikele di Stefano will be writing the series in collaboration with the Italian screenwriter known as Menotti (“The Call Me Jeeg”), and also Stefano Voltaggio, Massimo Vavassori, Carolina Cavalli and Lisandro Monaco.

No information has been revealed about who will direct.

The expected delivery date for the “Zero” series is 2020.

“Zero” is being produced by Fabula Pictures, the innovative Italian production company founded and headed by Nicola and Marco De Angelis, which for Netflix has previously produced “Baby” the drama about teen prostitution in Rome which has just wrapped its second season.

“Baby” is Netflix’s second Italian original longform series. The first is the crimer “Suburra” about corruption in contemporary Rome produced by Cattleya, which in June started production on teen romancer “Summertime,” also commissioned by Netflix.

Image copyright: Netflix

Written by: Nick Vivarelli

First published 08.07.19: https://variety.com/2019/digital/global/netflix-announces-italian-original-zero-about-black-kids-in-italy-1203260914/

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