Skip to main content

Event Details

Cosponsored by the Black Studies Project and European Studies as a part of the Black Europe Series, with additional sponsorship from the Suraj Israni Center for Cinematic Arts.

About Antonio Dikele Distefano

In a bid to increase black representation in new Italian cinema, well-known Italian author turned screenwriter Antonio Dikele Distefano made his worldwide debut on Netflix Italia in 2021 with the groundbreaking mini-series, "Zero," featuring a primarily black cast.

The story is focused on life for Black Italian youth and their plight as members of an invisible class of society. But when a young Black teen called Zero discovers he can literally make himself invisible, he uses his gift to fight rich and powerful forces attempting to gentrify his neighborhood.

The historic nature of the series is even more remarkable given there are so few leading Black characters in Italian film, and the entertainment industry is creating quite a buzz about the first Black Italian film director backed by a major studio in Italy.

The 30-year-old multi-hyphenate creator hails from Angolan parents, was born and raised in the Northern Italian city of Ravenna, and now lives and works in Milan.

Before connecting with Amazon Italy and Netflix Italia, Antonio had already become an inspiration to many Black Italians through publishing, television, and social media projects.

He went on to write five novels for Mondadori between 2014 and 2019, with combined sales exceeding 500,000 copies sold.

Along the way, he founded Esse Magazine in 2016 as an outlet for young Black artists to gain recognition and did video interviews with emerging performers. Today, Esse is the largest rap publication in Italy. In addition, he owns the communications agency Cantera.

His first foray into screenplays netted the newly released "Zero" Netflix Italia mini-series, which launched him onto the world stage.


About Fred Kudjo Kuwornu

Fred Kudjo Kuwornu is an Italian-Ghanaian multi-hyphenate filmmaker, activist, educator, and producer, born and raised in Italy and based in New York where he founded his company production Do The Right Films. He is best known as the director of critically acclaimed documentaries such as Blaxploitalian, Inside Buffalo, and 18 IUS SOLI. His documentaries deal with political and social themes, such as racism, interracial relations, diversity, Afro-Italians, and Black diasporic identity in Italy and the African diaspora in the world. Fred Kuwornu holds a Master of Arts in Political Science at the University of Bologna, Italy with a focus on sociology and mass communication studies. In July 2021, He launched the platform and "Teaching Black Itay" a one-week refresher online course for professors which explores the contemporary presence of the African diaspora in Italy.

Kuwornu is a Diversity & Inclusion consultant for Netflix Italy and other media broadcasters in Italy. He has taught courses and labs at Colorado College, the University of Minneapolis, and Middlebury College Italian Summer School, and lectured at more than 200 Colleges in North America. His production has been awarded and granted by the New York Foundation for the Arts, Open Society, and Cineteca of Bologna. He is currently developing "We Were There," a feature documentary about the African presence during the Renaissance in Europe.


Need some help finding SME (the Structural & Materials Engineering Building)? Check this out...

the image is a screenshot of a map of a portion of UCSD's campus flanked by Geisel Library to the far left of the screenshot, and the SME building to the far right