Angolan writer and TV show host, Antonio Dikele Distefano, has revealed that he is writing a new original Italian series titled “Zero” which will feature Itlay’s first black protagonist. The series, which will be featured on Netflix, is from one of his novels and captures the present-day lives of Black Italian youth and the struggles for survival.
Dikele Distefano, an Angolan born near Varese in Italy revealed in a Netflix video that Zero “possesses special powers which help him know the reality of things and people that are concealed behind appearances.”
“For me — for a black kid who is Italian, like Zero, and who owes everything to Italy – the most beautiful thing is that this will be the first series in which the protagonists will be a black Italian kid,” Dikele Distefano said.
“I hope that this [series] will open the door to black actors, creatives, and artists who have not yet had a big break,” he added while pointing out that “this story will reflect the lives of lots of kids, regardless of what colour they are.”
According to Variety, Distefano grew up in the Northern City of Ravenna and made his debut as an author in his self-published novel titled, “Fuori piove, dentro pure. Posso passare a prenderti?” which translates as “It’s Raining Outside, And Inside As Well. Can I Come And Pick You Up?”
Despite the decline in racism in Italy, the country continues to fight racist incidents against blacks. His most recent book about a black kid named Zero tells the hardships and racism in contemporary Italy. This book will provide the bases for the series, however, it will “feature lots of rap [music]” because “rap is the language of my generation,” he said.
Zero will be produced by Fabula Pictures alongside Red Joint Film in 2020.
Here are some reactions to the upcoming series:
Already added to my 2020 watchlist. Thanks a bunch @strongblacklead as always. So grateful!
— Shemal Anthony Jayasundera (@shemjay93) July 10, 2019
WHERE MY ANGOLAN PEOPLE ATTT ?????? will look into him so excited about thisss ??— Qweencasss (@Qweencassss) July 10, 2019
I’m so excited to watch this ?
— Efua Dadzie (@wawaaba_) July 10, 2019
Very exciting times!— Efua Dadzie (@wawaaba_) July 11, 2019
When it comes out I’d love to host a screening in Accra!
This is so exciting and incredible! Can’t wait to watch it!!! #2020
— Margaret L (@llws88) July 11, 2019
Awsome i needed an excuse to learn italian Grazie fratello e @NetflixIT— Kim SOLA (@kim_Sola) July 10, 2019
Zero?? Bring it.. pic.twitter.com/sN5FNISKRi
— Almulk Alshijae (@chosen_won76) July 11, 2019
I’m sooo excited for it ? gonna brush up on my Italian- I understand a little bit of it— Jay (The Hair Guru) (@jlaplusbelle) July 10, 2019
Word! I have to make sure I support our fam across the diaspora!
— Tarrah (@tarrahlayne) July 11, 2019
I’m not Italian but I’d love to be apart of this— Abbygail Asante (@AbbyA143) July 10, 2019