Babel TV Unveils 'Invitation to Dinner' Reality Hybrid
The documentary program will focus on immigrants from various countries living in Italy.
ROME – Italian television content producer Babel TV on Tuesday unveiled Invito a Cena (Invitation to Dinner), a new cross between a reality program and documentary that focuses attention on Italy’s growing immigration issue.
Babel produced eight one-hour episodes for the first season, which will get underway Nov. 6. Officials said more episodes could be in the works if the first go-around does well.
Each episode will tell the story of a specific geographic area featuring an Italian and an immigrant, both of whim live in that area. The pair will get to know each other over food from the immigrant’s home country, sparking discussions about the role of immigrants in Italy and the foreigner’s cuisine. At the end of the episode, the recipe for the dinner the immigrant prepared will be posted.
The first episode with feature Chinese immigrants in Tuscany, while other episodes include a Senegalese immigrant near Venice, Indian immigrants near Bologna, and a Columbian immigrant in Umbria.
Immigration has been a hot button topic in Italy for years, but its profile has risen in recent months due in part to the flood of refugees from war-torn North Africa entering Europe through Italy. Additionally, the Northern League, the junior partner in Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government and the country’s most visible anti-immigration party, has also seen its support increase this year.
Angelo Bozzolini, who created the concept and who directed all eight episodes, said he hopes the series will help call attention to the topic while showing the human side of the immigrants many Italians automatically turn a blind eye to.
“It’s difficult to have a negative view of somebody after sitting down, talking, and sharing dinner with that person,” Bozzolini said.
Babel TV, a year-old content producer within the Sky-Italia platform, focuses its program on program with an international aspect to it.