In the Middle

Film phase: Post Production


Part road movie and part intimate portrait of lives in transit, In the Middle unfolds between Italy and the Balkan corridor, intercutting two unforgettable refugees stories of human strength and resilience.

Eritrean refugee Aregai survives a tragic shipwreck off the shores of Lampedusa only to find himself trapped in the faltering Italian immigration system. His quest to reach Sweden unfolds along Syrian refugees Wael and Doha’s journey through the Balkans aiming to take their four sons to safety in Germany. Captured on film in real time, their trip reveals the inner psychological turmoil erupting in a family forced to the inescapable pain of fleeing their own country.


In The Middle is co-directed by Lorena Luciano and Filippo Piscopo


Lorena LucianoBorn and raised in Italy, where she graduated from the School of Law at Milan University, Lorena Luciano moved to New York City in 1996 to pursue her career in documentary filmmaking. In 1998 her first feature documentary on Italian iconoclast playwright-performer Dario Fo, a Nobel Laureate in Literature, entered the Venice Film Festival’s official selection. Lorena is the recipient of several prestigious artist grants such as the MacArthur Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Ben & Jerry Foundation, and Chicken & Egg Pictures. Her media work focuses on social issues, the environment, the human rights as well as on the arts. Her films, winners of numerous awards, have been screened and distributed internationally. She lives in New York with her two children and her husband and film partner Filippo Piscopo.


Filippo Piscopo is a New York based documentary filmmaker, producer and cinematographer whose directing credits include, among others, Variety and New York Times-praised Urbanscapes – theatrically released in 2006; Venice Film Festival official selection and Houston WorldFest winner A Nobel for Two; NYSCA recipient, Independent Film Week showcased and multiple awards winner Coal Rush. Granted the Social Justice Award by Amy Goodman, Filippo’s documentary work, a collaboration with his wife and film partner Lorena Luciano, has been internationally recognized with several audience and jury prizes.


In the Middle, picked up by HBO Documentaries, was previously awarded MacArthur Foundation, NYSCA, and Bertha Foundation grants. The film was also named an IDFA Forum Central Pitch selection in Amsterdam and featured at the Independent Film Week in New York. Wide networking with major humanitarian organizations will facilitate screenings of the film worldwide to contribute to the present debate on global migrations.