Internships and Seminars

MedFilm Festival University Jury

As every year, the MedFilm Festival establishes a university jury, parallel to those of authors and cinema experts, which assigns the main prizes of the MedFilm Festival for the categories in competition (“Amore & Psyche”, fictional feature films and short films; Documentaries).

The Jury, made up of over 70 students from the main universities of Rome, including a rich representation of the students of the Internship of the ISO Oriental Studies Department of the Faculty of Letters of the La Sapienza University, was able to access live, in theaters, to the entire program of the MedFilm Festival, participating in the scheduled meetings and masterclasses, meeting to discuss the films of the Festival, analyze them and finally choosing their winners.

Lifeblood for raising students’ awareness of the issues of a cultural, social, economic and political nature relating to the Mediterranean area with respect to the study paths of students – History and Culture, Cinema, Philosophy, Political Science – for these young people, the MedFilm Festival was once again a window overlooking the world that connects the work done daily in the university classrooms with the many pulsating realities of the Mediterranean told through the gaze of the filmmakers.

Two Masterclasses realized in this 2021 edition by the MedFilm Festival in which the students of the University Jury participated: on November 5 with the MedFilm Festival 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, the Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaïdi, created in collaboration with the internship of the Department of Oriental Studies of Rome ISO and the ISO Library, with which the collaboration with the MedFilm Festival is underway for the Third Mission Project Voices and Images from Intercultural Dialogue in the Mediterranean, within which a first archive core of the MedFilm Festival.
The Masterclass with Leonardo Di Costanzo (November 9, 2021) in collaboration with the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Literature of La Sapienza, in the spaces of the Department’s Library.


Masterclass with Faouzi Bensaïdi

The protagonist with the Masterclass that the MedFilm Festival organizes in collaboration with the Department of Oriental Studies – ISO of the La Sapienza University of Rome, is Faouzi Bensaïdi (Mille mois, 2003, WWW: What a Wonderful World, 2006, Mort à vendre, 2011).


Laura Guazzone, Professor of Contemporary History of the Arab world

Ada Barbaro, Professor of Contemporary Literature of the Arab world

Francesco Zappa, Professor of Islamistics

Roberto Silvestri, Journalist, film critic (FilmTv) and radio host (Hollywood Party Radiotre Rai).

Moderation by Veronica Flora, MedFilm Festival film programmer.

Faouzi Bensaidi was born in 1967 in Meknes, Morocco, he began his career as a theater director and actor. In 1997 he directed his first short film, La Falaise, which won 23 festival awards in France and abroad. In 1999 he co-wrote Lontano by André Téchiné. A year later, he directed two other shorts: Le Mur and Trajets. In 2003 he made his debut as a director of a feature film with Mille Mesi, winner of two awards at Cannes. His second film, WWW – What a Wonderful World (2006), was selected at the Venice Days. Death for Sale (2011) premieres at the Toronto Film Festival and Volubilis (2017) returns to the Giornate degli Autori.

To watch again the Masterclass:

Events Uncategorized



The longest-running Film Festival in the capital and the first in Italy dedicated to Mediterranean cinema!

The 27th edition of the MedFilm Festival finally returns to the theaters, from 5 to 14 November, to reaffirm the importance and emotion of collective vision. Discover the program of the MedFilm Festival 2021!





Human rights, identity and citizenship

Human rights, identity and citizenship

(…) The network of fundamental rights gives everyone the dignity of a person, leaves no one shipwrecked in their own destiny, keeps alive the hope of peace, freedom, equality. Human rights are therefore a limit both to the authority of States and to the unconditional freedom of individuals; they represent the paradigm and the litmus test of the very juridicality of the legal systems. There is no law, no right, no justice without the full recognition of rights and the effective possibility of realizing them. (…) When the protection of human rights breaks the logic of borders to affirm a public order of justice for people, one must have the courage to consider the centrality of man as a link between the various constitutional traditions, different sources of law, and even the different jurisprudences, national and international, which require, indeed impose to accept the virtuous and reciprocal contamination of juridical knowledge as a lever and anchor of a firmly communal and supportive perspective. The perspective of rights breaks down all ideological barriers. The distinctions between internal and external law, between common law and civil law, between public and private, blur. (…)

Pietro Grasso President of the Senate of the Republic


What are the properties that make someone a certain individual and distinguish from everything else that exists in the world? Are they purely physical properties or are they also mental characteristics? What is the nature of human persons? What causes a given person to exist at different times, surviving a drastic series of changes, but always remaining the same entity? And what changes could it not survive? (…) From this first list of questions two main themes emerge: the problem of the nature of people and that of the criteria of their identity over time.

Michele Di Francesco – Enciclopedia Italiana Treccani – VII Appendice (2007)

Freedom of expression Human rights, identity and citizenship Social inclusion and fight against discriminations Socio-economic issues and migrations

LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND Towards Inclusive Citizenship in Arab Countries

PDF) Leaving No One Behind Towards Inclusive Citizenship in Arab Countries Arab  Human Development Report Research Paper

Arab Human Development Report

Towards Inclusive Citizenship in Arab Countries

Research Paper published for the United Nations Development Programme – Regional Bureau for Arab States

Authors: Adel Abdellatif, Paola Pagliani and Ellen Hsu

Building inclusive societies has been a challenge in Arab countries, and the limitations in inclusion have become more acute since 2011, as the relationship between citizens and the state — and among various social
groups — has deteriorated in some countries.
Despite different governance structures, all Arab countries manifest serious fault lines in modern notions of citizenship.
The starting point of this paper is that the Arab region’s human development fault lines have grown more complex since 2011 — and deepened in several countries. Today many people live insecure lives, more people live under persistent pressures that inhibit them from realizing their potential as human beings, and too many lives are cut short as armed conflicts take their grim toll. If the ongoing conflicts are not resolved and demographic projections of faster population growth in crisis countries are realized, 40 percent of the people in Arab countries will live in crisis and conflict in 2030, when the SDGs should be achieved.
Achieving the SDGs in Arab countries thus requires addressing the most debilitating development problems related to citizenship in a region where the relations between the state and society remain deeply fraught and
contested amid political, social and economic fragility.
Given the importance of understanding, and potentially explaining, manifestations of exclusion and inequality, the link between citizenship and human development needs to be further explored.



Europe and the Mediterranean Focus Freedom of expression Human rights, identity and citizenship Mediterranean and Middle East Social inclusion and fight against discriminations

The EU’s Democracy, Human Rights and Resilience Discourse and Its Contestation

Authors: Pacello, Maria Cristina, Huber Daniela, Kerrou M., Nouira A


The paper will first provide a background analysis, based on a critical review of the discourses of the EU and other key international and regional players, discursive positions of civil society actors (including at this stage only documents produced by civil
society networks which span the Mediterranean) and the academic discourse. The aim is not only to de-construct the EU’s own discourse on democracy, human rights and now resilience; it also juxtaposes it to the discourse of other top-down and bottom-up actors. The academic
discourse produced in Europe takes a specific role in this overall picture as it generally sits within the larger EU discourse, even though a critical literature is emerging which resists this discourse. It is to this latter literature that this work package seeks to contribute. The second
and third parts of this paper, therefore, depart from the Euro-centrism of the literature in two ways. First, the second part gives an introductory overview on the central role played by civil society in the Arab uprisings and beyond. Unfortunately, very little is known in the literature
about how individual and civil society actors based in the four country case studies perceive their own role in their countries and which political ideas they are promoting for their countries.
The third part of this paper, therefore, outlines a methodology aimed at filling this gap by conducting discourse analysis of relevant documents produced by a selected number of civil society actors in such countries, and conducting recursive interviews with these stakeholders.


Focus Freedom of expression Gender equality Human rights, identity and citizenship Social inclusion and fight against discriminations

New Trends in Identity Politics in the Middle East and North Africa and Their Impact on State–Society Relations

Title: New Trends in Identity Politics in the Middle East and North Africa and Their Impact on State–Society Relations

Authors: Silvia Colombo Enrico Campelli Francesca Caruso Raffaella A. Del Sarto

State–society relations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been deeply impacted by the dynamics around collective identities in the aftermath of the Arab uprisings and of other domestic and regional far-reaching developments, such as the failed coup attempt in Turkey or the ramifications of the Syrian conflict. It is therefore of utmost importance to discuss the changes (or lack thereof) in the articulation of collective identities, what pressures shape them, and what impact this has on the societal actors and ultimately on their relations with the state institutions and policies. In this regard two trends can be identified whereby pluralization and hybridization in certain countries, for example Morocco and Tunisia, stand in opposition to entrenchment and polarization, as illustrated by the Israeli and the Turkish cases. The result is heightened conflictuality in state–society relations and within societies at large in the MENA with the risk of spillovers at the regional level.



Europe and the Mediterranean Focus Social inclusion and fight against discriminations Socio-economic issues and migrations Uncategorized

Thirty years of EU-Mediterranean Policies (1989-2019): an assessment

Authors: Bichara Khader & Haizam Amirah-Fernández


Web site:

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Algeria is trying to implement a series of political and economic reforms aimed at improving a difficult socio-economic situation and smooth the path towards the legislative elections of June 12. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic consequences, combined with both resuming popular manifestations guided by the Hirak movement and an increasingly volatile regional scenario, may soon bring forth yet another litmus test for the government and the country as a whole. What challenges lie ahead for Algeria? What the implications for the country’s and the region’s stability?

Panel Discussion

Haizam Amirah-Fernández, Senior Analyst, Elcano Royal Institute, Spain

Amel Boubekeur, Co-Director, Institute for Social Science Research on Algeria (ISSRA)

Dalia Ghanem, Resident Scholar, Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center, Lebanon

Yahia Zoubir, Professor of International Relations and International Management, and Director of Research in Geopolitics, KEDGE Business School

Ahmed Rouaba, Journalist, BBC


Focus Socio-economic issues and migrations

The EU’S Migration, Asylum and Mobility Policies in the Mediterranean

This MEDRESET Policy Brief summarizes the findings of MEDRESET’s WP7 on migration, mobility and asylum in the Mediterranean and identifies policy implications.

Migration, asylum and mobility represent an increasingly contentious field of governance in EuroMediterranean relations. In the Mediterranean area, cooperation in this policy field has long been characterized by fundamental divergences of interests and approaches, not only between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean, or between (predominantly) sending, transit and receiving countries, but also among institutional and civil society actors on both sides of the Mediterranean. (…)

By adopting a non-Eurocentric approach, and based on extensive empirical research, WP7 found that the EU’s discourse in the migration policy field is informed by two dominant frames – unilateralism and securitization – which translate into largely Eurocentric, securitizing and conditionality-based policies and practices. Moreover, WP7 found that, despite the existence of country-specific issues and different migration policy agendas in the Maghreb and the Middle East, SEM (South-Eastern Mediterranean) stakeholders in the four target countries (Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey) share a common perception of EU migration policies as abusively and inappropriately restrictive and ineffective, elaborated in a unilateral way and imposed through unbalanced power relations.

With a high level of consensus among themselves, they recommend that the EU radically change its approach to Euro-Mediterranean relations and to migration governance in particular, in order to make it less Eurocentric and security-oriented, and more inclusive, balanced and responsive.
This policy brief describes, firstly, how stakeholders perceive the Mediterranean space and EU practices in it, and, secondly, which alternative policies they recommend.


In arabo