A coming-of-age story where anger, fear and anxiety give way to a new vision of self and the world.
When boys and girls who do not attend religion classes become a nuisance to the school, the headmistress decides to assign them to a music teacher for the realization of the end-of-year concert.
This is the series 'L'Ora Alternativa', the new format produced by us together with Koala Production, the Rome-based independent production company of Ali, Mouadh and Takoua Ben Mohamed.
L’Ora Alternativa is a mosaic of stories made up of young characters from different backgrounds, united by the fact that they do not attend religion class. Usually, each of them spends that time freely; some study in the library, some are on the computer, there are those who sit at the bar, those who smoke in the bathroom and those who enjoy creating disturbance in the school. One day, the headmistress notices that this situation is becoming a problem and sees an opportunity to solve it when a music teacher proposes to organise an end-of-year concert. However, the teacher is unhappy with this decision and the new presence in the class will change the balance completely.
The 4 episodes take place in the same time frame and have the same sequence of events, with a different point of view for each episode. Each episode has a new main character, its own story and a different theme. However, the union of the four stories, juxtaposed and intertwined, gives a universal meaning that will emerge in the last episode.
"The film explores the school as a miniature of society. The school thus becomes a microcosm reflecting the broader dynamics of society - says the director Ali Ben Mohamed - The series tries to portray cultural diversity as normality in today's city life. The series portrays second-generation youth not as victims, nor as aliens, but as boys and girls who wish to have a normal, carefree life like their peers. The path to adulthood is complex and requires commitment. The ability to communicate in their language and the depiction of a reality parallel to the school one make these characters unique, without apologising for who they are. This distinguishes them as individuals outside the conventional mainstream, making them alien to those who consider them as such. The series can influence new generations by showing the world through these different eyes, accepting each other without reservation and inspiring greater understanding and inclusion".
A universal story that talks about adolescence and the difficult transition to adulthood with a special focus on second-generation youths and the processes of integration, outside and inside schools, with the typical difficulties of a complex and delicate age such as adolescence.
We talk about marginalisation, self-isolation, class conflict, the sense of loss and abandonment, but also about friendship and courage, showing through different points of view the difficulties and emotions experienced in living poised between colliding cultures: that of the parents and that of the society in which one finds oneself, that of the adult and institutionalised world and that which the new generations want to contribute to realise.
"We wanted to create a product that would not only speak to the new generations but also put their point of view at the centre and tell how difficult it is to find one's own voice and have the courage to make it heard,' explains Erica Scigliuolo of WeWorld, the activity's communication coordinator. 'When talking about second generations and the participation of people from a migrant background, too often the point of view remains external, partial, with the strong risk of stereotyping and extremes. They are at the centre of the story. This is why we have chosen to entrust the entire project to a team of professionals who know these stories, have lived them, and have been able to give life to a story without borders in which boys and girls from all over the world can recognise themselves and feel less alone in the delicate path of growth and self-discovery".
The series premiered at the Terra di Tutti Film Festival in Bologna during an event dedicated to the active participation of people from a migration background.
Watch all the episodes here!
To find out more about the SHAPE project, visit our page.