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Netflix Italia presents the first original series featuring the community of black Italians

The story of a black Italian superhero named Zero, written by Antonio Dikele is set to make history

Netflix Italia presents the first original series featuring the community of black Italians The story of a black Italian superhero named Zero, written by Antonio Dikele is set to make history

Last month, Netflix Italia announced the making of a new original series entitled Zero. Written by writer Antonio Dikele Distefano, the series, set to debut in 2020, will make history as the first series to feature a cast and storyline highlighting members of the black Italian community.

Zero is the story of a special boy, inspired by my novel ‘I have never been my age.’ It’s a story of a special black boy who has a super power to see beyond the surface of what people and things may appear to be, said Distefano

As a product of Italy, with roots in Angola, the writer holds the capacity to tell the story of the Afro-Italian experience from an empirical perspective without the use of overly political satire. 

With the series I didn’t want to talk much about too many major issues, because the thing I want to do is to make it clear that these are just guys who live an everyday life like everyone else in Italy. Surely there exists a few differences between these characters and other Italian boys, like their experience at home. The fact that when they are at home at least one of the parents speaks with the mother tongue, or the family’s cultural habits etc. However, I don't want to Americanise it, oftentimes at the cores of many American series there are political statements. I think that the political statement is simply the fact that this story exists. A series about black Italians, with an all-black cast, is already a sort of political action in itself, he explained.

As a big fan of hip-hop, Stefano notes that the series will also include influences of the music genre with a full rap soundtrack and although the series will be released sometime next year, Distefano and Netflix are already in the process of fine-tuning the details of the story. They will eventually begin shooting in Milan within a matter of months. “We chose Milan because it’s a big Italian city where an important series or film has never been shot before. So Netflix and I thought it would also be a great first time,” Distefano told us. 

Our goal is to find new and local voices and to help tell their stories to a worldwide audience. We are excited to collaborate with Antonio and Zero's pool of writer to bring their unique vision to life in what will be the first superhero show in our offer of original Italian content.

The filming of the series, produced by Fabula Pictures, will begin in 2020.