Capturing Italian America With Moving Pictures

Explore the just-released documentary films that illustrate the history, impact and future of Italian America.

Every year, The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum selects and funds eight documentaries that depict and explore the Italian-American experience for the benefit of tomorrow’s generations.

The number of applications received nearly doubled from last year, and the committee was truly inspired by the host of topics covered within the proposed films.

The following Film Forum grant recipients presented powerful voices, eliciting an array of dynamic and timely themes which explore our past, present and future.

Here they are:

Anton Evangelista, whose film — Il Signor Jackson — chronicles the life and contributions of a remarkable African American with an Italian spirit. —2018 Film Forum co-winner

Geannine Guilyard, whose film — Return to Lucania — tells the story of the early 20th century Italian immigrants, the conditions they fled, and what the land they left has become today.

Luca Martera, whose film — In the Mood in Our Own Way — explores the history and influence that Italians and Italian Americans have had on music in the U.S. for the past 200 years.

Nina Ignaczak, whose film — Speaking Sicilianu — relays the predicament of Sicilians and Sicilian Americans who find themselves in a changing world, struggling to reconcile their rich ethnic history with their current reality of assimilation.

Laura Magone, whose film — Raising the Bar — tells the quintessential Italian-American success story of two brothers born to immigrant parents who could not read or write, but who still managed to teach the life lessons that would help their sons excel and eventually make extraordinary contributions to our country.



Andrea Cordaro, whose film — Cannoli, Traditions Around the Table focuses on food as a connector between ourselves and our ancestors, specifically through the history, spiritual significance, and evolution of the cannoli. View Ms. Cordaro’s film here.


Upcoming 2018 Russo Brothers Film Forum releases:

  • Tim Moriarty, whose film — THE FIELD AFAR: The Life of Fr. Vincent Capodanno — celebrates the life of a Marine Chaplain during the Vietnam War, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery, and whose cause is currently under consideration by the Vatican for Sainthood. —2018 Film Forum co-winner
  • Richard Vetere, whose film — Where Are We Now? The Italian American Today — contemplates whether Italian-American influence in American culture is coming to an end as its population becomes assimilated; or, whether that influence has become more relevant now than ever before.

Congratulations to all!

The Russo Brothers are grateful to the National Italian American Foundation and the Italian Sons and Daughters of America for their support in this endeavor.

Furthermore, they kindly thank all the applicants for their submissions and look forward to reading more in 2019!

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