Emanuele Crialese’s Terraferma, the director’s third film about immigration which just scooped up the Jury prize at the Venice Film Festival, has been selected by the Oscar commission to represent Italy as a foreign Oscar hopeful.

Other films under consideration included Nanni Moretti’s Cannes competition title We Have A Pope from Fandango and 21st Century Fox’s Vallenzasca - The Flower Of Evil by Michele Placido, among others.

Shot on the Italian islands of Linosa and Lampedusa, Terraferma is set against the backdrop of the dying fishing industry, examining Italy’s relatively new, yet floundering relationship to immigration.

Produced by Rome-based production company Cattleya, Terraferma stars Donatella Fioncchario, Mimmo Cuticchio, Giuseppe Fiorello, Martina Codecasa andprincipal actor Filippo Pucillo whom Venice Jury president Darren Aronofsky called “a new star”.

Crialese made his first English language feature on the subject of immigration, When We Were Strangers, in 1996. He went on to make Golden Door starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, about Italian emigration to the United States, which won an ad-hoc Revelation Lion at the 2006 Venice Film Festival.