News & Events

Filmmaker Kuwornu will Discuss Immigration Documentary

Kuwornu
Fred Kudjo Kuwornu will visit campus as part of the “Reel to Real: Directors Discuss” series.

Oct. 14, 2015

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Independent filmmaker Fred Kudjo Kuwornu will screen his documentary 18 Ius Soli Oct. 29 as part of the “Reel to Real: Directors Discuss” series at Illinois Wesleyan University.

The film follows 18 individuals who were born in Italy to immigrant parents, but who are not entitled to Italian citizenship despite living in Italy their entire lives. As a result, they must wait until they are 18 to begin the complicated path towards citizenship, one that does not always end happily.

“I chose this film because it allows for many discussions that parallel discussions about immigration and citizenship in the United States,” said Associate Professor of French & Italian Scott Sheridan, who is also director of the International Studies program, a sponsor of the film. “Even the title of the film is provocative, in that the concept of Ius Soli vs. Ius Sanguinis calls into question the fundamental right to citizenship: is it based on where one is born, or one's birth heritage?”

Kuwornu is an Italian-Ghanaian activist-producer-writer-director. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and mass media. After college, Kuwornu moved to Rome where he began working as a TV show writer for RAI 1. He has produced several works with his production company, Struggle Filmworks. In 2008, after working with the production crew of Spike Lee’s Miracle at St. Anna (2008), Kuwornu decided to research the unknown story of the 92nd Infantry “Buffalo Soldiers” Division, a World War II African-American segregated combat unit. The resulting film, Inside Buffalo, was awarded “Best Documentary” at the Black Berlin International Cinema Festival, and has been shown at the Pentagon, the Library of Congress, and many other venues.

The showing of 18 Ius Soli will begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 in The Ames Library’s Beckman Auditorium. A question and answer session will immediately follow. The event is free and open to the public.

A part of the University’s intellectual theme “Nation(s) Divided?” the event is also sponsored by the International Film Series and co-sponsored by the Center for Human Rights and Social Justice and the 3D Series.

By Emily Phelps ’19