Daniel Espinosa’s Drama Madame Luna to Tell the Real Story of Notorius Human Trafficker “Mama Luna”

madame luna

Wild Bunch International has announced its latest addition to the European Film Market slate, signing international sales for Madame Luna, a drama from Daniel Esponisa.

Inspired by real-life events, the film follows an Eritrean refugee who becomes a notorious human trafficker, “Mama Luna”, with deep ties to the Italian Mafia after getting stuck in Libya. The story follows the journey of Mama Luna as she tries to escape Italy after being forced to flee, experiencing the same hardships she inflicted on others. In her quest for freedom, she forms a bond with her younger self.

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The lead cast members are newcomers Meninet Abraha and Hilyam Weldemichael, both of Eritrean origin, in the roles of Mama Luna and the younger woman, respectively. The film also stars Claudia Potenza and Emanuele Vicorito.

Based on a story by Binyam Berhane, the screenplay was written by Italian screenwriter Maurizio Braucci, known for his work on Gomorrah, Pasolini, and Martin Eden, and Palestinian writer and director Suha Arraf, best known for her Ramallah-set drama Villa Touma. Madame Luna was shot in Sicily and Calabria and is currently in post-production.

Chilean-born Espinosa’s previous films include Safe House, Life, and Morbius, and this film marks his first major independently backed film in more than a decade.

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Madame Luna is a Swedish-Italian co-production lead produced by David Olivier Herdies of Stockholm-based Momento Film, with Marco Alessi and Massimiliano Navarra at Rome-based Dugong Films. The film is backed by Greek ship owner and businessman Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis’s Luxembourg-based Hercules Film Fund, along with Terry Dougas, Rhea Films’s Jean-Luc de Fanti, and Binyam Berhane as executive producers. The film also received support from West Sweden’s regional fund Film I Vast and the Swedish Film Institute, as well as the Calabria Film Commission and Sicilia Film Commission.

WME handles the film’s US sales. Madame Luna marks Wild Bunch International’s latest addition to its European Film Market slate. The independent film production and sales company was founded in 1979 and has since been involved in the production and distribution of several films.

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