Coronavirus Updates: USC  |  SCA


February 1, 2023, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

The USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, Outside the Box [Office],
and Amazon Prime Video Italia, invite you and a guest to attend


A Special Theatrical Screening of


Directed Antonio Dikele Distefano
Written by Antonio Dikele Distefano and Massimo Vavassori
Produced by Marco Cohen, Fabrizio Donvito,
Benedetto Habib, and Daniel Campos Pavoncelli

Followed by a Q&A with Antonio Dikele Distefano

Moderated by USC Professor Gian-Maria Annovi

7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
George Lucas Building, School of Cinematic Arts Complex
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007




About Autumn Beat

Autumn Beat, produced by Amazon Studios and co-produced by Indiana Productions is an exciting and unprecedented story about Black culture in Italy, and the role of music as a means of redemption and search for identity.

Two brothers, Tito and Paco have the same dream: to break into the rap music world. Paco is a born performer and Tito knows how to write like no other but ambition, life, and love for the same woman will test their bond.

The film, which spans three-decades, has a cast mostly made up of Italian of African descent comprising Hamed Seydou, Abby 6ix, Geneme, Juliet Joseph, Dylan Magon, Mohamed Diallo, Marco Renna, Mamy Seny Gueye, Francesco Danquah, and Mafoku Michelle Cloe Kengne, and Italian hip-hop stars: Gué Pequeno, Ernia and Sfera Ebbasta.

Running time: 103 minutes. In Italian with English subtitles.

About the Guests


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.

Antonio, with his own production company, is developing films that bring Black performers onto the world stage so they're no longer invisible. He says doing quality projects that positively portray underserved communities will give people an opportunity to exist. If the mainstream chooses to ignore them, that's their choice, but they'll no longer be invisible.

GIAN-MARIA ANNOVI (Moderator, USC Associate Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature)

Gian-Maria Annovi is originally from Italy. He studied Philosophy at the University of Bologna where he graduated with a dissertation on Giacomo Leopardi and Andrea Zanzotto. He then pursued graduate research in the field of Contemporary Italian Literature under the direction of Niva Lorenzini at the University of Bologna. After studying abroad at the Universitat de Barcelona, Spain, and at the University of California Los Angeles, Gian Maria went to Columbia University to pursue a PhD in the field of Italian Studies under the direction of Paolo Valesio. In 2011, his Ph.D. dissertation on writer and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini was granted the ‘P. P. Pasolini Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation’. He taught at the University of Denver from 2011 to 2013 before joining USC. Gian-Maria has published a book on the relationship between de-centered subjectivity and corporeality in the poetry of prominent Italian authors such as Rosselli, Zanzotto, Sanguineti, Porta, and Pasolini. In 2017, he published his second book "Pier Paolo Pasolini: Performing Authorship" (Columbia University Press), which received the Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Modern Language Association, and the International Flaiano Prize for Italian Studies. He is the editor of four volumes and the author of numerous book chapters and articles on Italian poetry, the Italian Neo-avant-garde, and Pier Paolo Pasolini. Gian-Maria's main interests include twentieth century Italian literature, cinema and visual arts. He also has a strong interest in critical thought, specifically in the areas of psychoanalytic theory, cultural studies, and gender and sexuality studies. In 2015 he received a Creative Capital | The Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. The series draws from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here

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Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. A reservation confirmation will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


On-campus parking at the University of Southern California is limited, and it is best to visit the USC Transportation Website for the most up-to-date information if you plan to drive and park on campus:

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago