A Film by Fabio Massa

Worldwide equality? If it were a possibility, how and where would it begin? Global Harmony—winner of the L.A. Italia Award for Best Feature—explores this premise on the remote island setting of Lampedusa, Italy. It’s a land mass that serves as connective terrain between Africa and Europe. It is also a locale that organically invites societal cooperation, when Richard Foster, an award-winning journalist and  an idealistic, wealthy American recognizes the opportunity. He’s the central character of the film—persuasively played by Australian actor Morgan David Jones. Foster, and thus, the film are driven by a determination to “turn [his] family’s legacy into something that benefits the world”.

The title itself suggests the extraordinary mission that this motion picture resolves to explore. The term “global harmony” could connote a variety of images—free and unencumbered trade between nations; a halt to political upheaval and unrest among warring factions; religious tolerance amid unique approaches; reverence for all humanity and religious ideologies; or a straightforward, yet complex, agreement to “abolish the disparity between nations”. Striving for equitable educational methodologies is where the valiant plan begins.  Imagine a world that benefited every child, without regard to economic status, race, or social positioning. This latter consideration is precisely what the breakout film, Global Harmony, takes on through its principled adventure.

Meet the producers and storytellers

Ex. Producers, Massa & Stegemiller — Global Harmony World Premiere — TCL Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, CA

Global Harmony is the brainchild of Matthew Stegemiller—an American visionary, with this and other subsequent stories to tell. Stegemiller embarked on a partnership with the immensely creative, Italian filmmaker, Fabio Massa. Together with his team, Massa helped develop the story with Paul Andersen and Jill Sokolec and created the script with Diego Olivares. Along with Stegemiller, Massa is also co-executive producer with Rocco Buongiorno. Additionally, Massa directed the feature and plays the convincing and pivotal role as character Alessandro Lambiase.

This award-winning artistic endeavor brought together symbiotic, committed mentalities. Stegemiller and Massa lovingly refer to the other as “brothers from another mother”. Their collaboration gave birth to a thrilling yet heart-wrenching saga. With a thematic mission exposed to potential destruction, the Global Harmony narrative achieves dramatic validation and a renewed purpose spurred by imaginative plot twist victories.



Scripting demands

Keeping with the global sentiment that lies at the heart of the film, the cast features an internationally vibrant ensemble. Dialogue is thoughtfully crafted in English. Yet the film’s remote setting on a southern Italian island—paired with the unavoidable assumptions prompted by its title—prepares viewers to expect a variety of cultural flavors in pursuit of this feature’s idealized mission. Morgan David Jones expertly carries the throughline of the movie with the intensity the script demanded. Jones’ wealthy American persona, with altruism at his core, becomes more believable and less of a plausible plot dupe as scenes unfold.

Morgan David Jones, as Richard Foster and Faty Ba, as Gaia

New and familiar faces

Aided by a memorable first performance of Faty Ba—the young actress who plays Foster’s adopted daughter, Gaia—the film establishes a heartfelt father-daughter dynamic. Rasha Bilal plays Foster’s wife, Fada. Bilal is a Syrian actress, who notches her first leading role, in this her first Euro-American production.

The thriller features an impressive cast of established actors, including familiar American faces. Randall Paul—of Eyes Wide Shut, Mission Impossible, and Four Weddings and a Funeral­, to name just a few. Paul plays “Gordan”, an important role that helps move the action in the film. Tomas Arana, portrays the ultimate antihero in the film as the ”President” of a child-labor trafficking organization. Arana’s face will inspire viewers to recall his role in The Bourne Supremacy, Hunt for Red October, and The Bodyguard, among other notable movies. Sicilian actor, Enrico Lo Verso, offers Richard Foster friendship and consistency of purpose while underscoring the film’s idealistic pursuit in his role as Rocco, a physician. And Denny Mendez, formerly Miss Italy and Miss Universe, plays Rocco’s love interest, Ester, an international African American PR liaison.

Notable performances in Global Harmony include a stellar array of accomplished actors: Cristina Donadio, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Sergio Muniz, Yulya Mayarchuk, Pietro De Silva, Ernesto Lama, Tony Campanozzi, Naya Manson, and Nicola Acunzo.

Massa, as screenwriter, crafted a wide-ranging script—frenetic in the throes of conflict yet mellow in the soft reflective moments.  Adept writing allowed the multi-cultural cast to deliver credible English, spoken through authentic indigenous accents. Importantly, a couple of scenes play out in the mother tongues of the actors with assistance of English subtitles. These elements contribute to the transnational appeal and narrative aims at the heart of the movie.

Morgan David Jones (Richard), Rasha Bilal (Fada), Enrico Lo Verso (Rocco), Denny Mendez (Ester), and Fabio Massa (Alessandro)

Cinematography and cast

Cinematography reigns supreme in Global Harmony. The film substantiates its international title with location glimpses of Naples, New York, Paris, and Tabarka. Of course, the movie’s primary location is sure to offer situational fascination, especially for an American audience.

Being surrounded by inherent geographical splendor—on an island like Lampedusa—had to count as one of the pluses of employing such a backdrop. Without a doubt, establishing shots and generic camera pans of an island surrounded by the Mediterranean—the body of water which connects three continents—made for a clever choice of locations, for the film’s global construct and characteristic beauty. Surely sunshine proved an inherent asset facilitating production as a natural light source. Still, perfections of setting are simply part of a larger equation, where talent, directorial experience and a keen eye and feel for rhythmic scene tempo, must also factor in.

The feature is marked with a couple of intense and nearly violent scenes where Fabio Massa, as director, creatively employs smash cuts to alleviate a full reveal of any true brutality. Under Italian Ministry guidelines, the film has received a G-rating. It seems plausible that the U.S.’s comparable entity, CARA, would designate a PG/PG-13 rating to Global Harmony. Some viewers are bound to caution parental discretion when considering the previously noted contentious scenes.

Nicola Acunzo, Naya Manson, and Morgan David Jones (left to right)

Maria Grazia Cucinotta (Rosaria) & Faty Ba (Gaia)

International film with a universal appeal

Global Harmony is a must-see for those who prioritize concepts of all-access education, within a functional society. It’s a starting point to a broader conversation of egalitarianism, aptly condensed through the film’s keywords: “equality, justice, and human dignity”. The cinematic work opens a window into a righteous way of living, despite severe heartache, obstacles, and major predatory impediments in the attainment of its goal.  It’s a story that’s ripe for this moment in the 21st century. Many people sense there’s a collective consciousness that demands a reprioritization of the complexities of the human condition. Will that occur through interpersonal relations, within and among nations, or amid innovative thought to achieve intercontinental diplomacy… if at all? This film creatively explores that question.

This highly engaging, international motion picture leaves viewers yearning to discover how this test-case community might survive. With a sequel on the horizon and plot twists undoubtedly churning in the minds of Stegemiller and Massa, one can be hopeful that the next rollout will be just as action-packed, enthralling, and heartfelt as its predecessor. Fans of Global Harmony now await the birth of the next unifying masterwork of Fabio Massa and Matthew Stegemiller.


Manifesting a Legacy—A Review of Global Harmony
Written by María Felicia Kelley @1mariafelicia, 31 March 2024
Writer, Publisher, EP – SoCal Spotlight
Copyright © 2024 María Felicia Kelley | Circle7531, LLC

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