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‘Fire at Sea’ Documents Migrant Crisis

The documentary Fire at Sea, from Italian director, cinematographer, producer and screenwriter Gianfranco Rosi, examines the current European migrant crisis by focusing on the inhabitants of the Italian island of Lampedusa, where hundreds of desperate migrants arrive by boat every week.

Shooting with the ARRI Amira, Rosi spent many months on Lampedusa, getting to know the locals to a degree that allowed him to capture their everyday lives in a natural and unobtrusive way. He says that using the Amira “made a huge difference because with this camera I was able to shoot at night, with little or no light. I was shooting with a small [light], and [this camera] gave me enormous freedom being just one person filming. Sometimes it looks like we had an incredible amount of light in order to be able to shoot at night or when we shot in the middle of the forest, but it was only [one].

“As a matter of fact, the best scenes are those I filmed in the evening or during the night,” Rosi continues. “They are so beautiful that everyone is surprised and asks me, ‘What camera did you use?’ This was fundamental, because I was alone, and having a camera that in no-lighting conditions allowed me to keep shooting even when my eye was not able to see things anymore, while the Amira could still see and record beautiful images, was amazing.”