“We are more than Mafia!” states indie film

Director/producer Jenna Maria Constantine’s $350,000 feature “A Sicilian Odyssey,” the fictional journey of a young American writer uncovering her mother’s deepest secret, is also Constantine’s odyssey.

Its Dec. 20 premiere at the Gene Siskel Film Center marks the second anniversary of when Constantine, of Chicago-based Jade Entertainment & KaplaniKid Productions, started filming in Italy.

I hope to generate a different image than we have of Sicily with a different focus and goal,” said Constantine. The Sicilian message is “We are much more than Mafia!”

Constantine, who is of Greek heritage, never realized a backyard fig tree and her father’s words, “Sicily is a Greek word — figs and olives go together” would inspire her first feature.

“Messina, Sicily was settled by Greeks that were from the island my parents came from ? Samos, Greece. “So this story is very personal,” she says.