Grant Selections for 2018


The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum
Grant Selections for 2018

The Selection Committee is pleased to announce the grant recipients for The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum, an initiative to fund films depicting and exploring the Italian American experience for the benefit of future generations.

The number of applications received nearly doubled from last year, and the committee was inspired by the host of interesting topics covered within the proposed films. As always, we encourage individuals whose submissions were not selected to consider reapplying for a grant next year.

The eight applicants listed below have been selected to receive $8,000 to fund their film project in 2018. These grant recipients present powerful voices, eliciting an array of truly dynamic and timely themes which explore our past, present and future. We are eager to see each of these films come to life in the coming months. . .

Andrea Cordaro, whose film focuses on food as a connector between ourselves and our ancestors, specifically through the history, spiritual significance, and evolution of the cannoli.

Anton Evangelista, whose film “Il Signor Jackson” chronicles the life and contributions of a remarkable African American with an Italian spirit.

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

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 “Two Brothers from Monessen” 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.

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.

Tim Moriarty, whose film celebrates the life of Fr. Vincent Capodanno, a Marine Chaplain during the Vietnam War, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for bravery, and whose cause is currently under investigation by the Vatican for Sainthood.

Richard Vetere, whose film 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!

Submitted by Angela Otstot, Chairperson

Watch the winning film projects of the 2018 The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum