The NATIONAL ITALIAN AMERICAN FOUNDATION

Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum – Finalists 2019

The Selection Committee is pleased to present the films of the seven 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.

WINNER

Ciao Sesame Street
By: John Peter Didato
“Ciao Sesame Stree” goes behind the scenes of Sesame Street to profile Italian Americans who have contributed to the success of the most beloved children’s show in television history.
*Ciao Sesame Street is unavailable to view at is being considered for a film festival.

FIRST RUNNER Ups

Heirloom
By: SandraJean Grasso and Michela M. Smith
“Heirloom” explores the significance of gardens in the Italian American community, and how they have become part of the cultural identity of Italian Americans.
*Heirloom is unavailable to view at is being considered for a film festival.

Maximum John
By: Sim Smiley and Luca Martera
“Maximum John: The Judge who knocked-out Nixon,” explains the importance of Judge John Sirica’s handling of Watergate, as well as examining the contributions of other prominent Italian American judges and lawyers.

Maximum John – The Judge Who Knocked Out Nixon (2019) from Italian American Experience on Vimeo.

SECOND RUNNER UPS

Ritornato
By: Michael Cavalieri
“Ritornato” is a narrative film and tells the emotional story of a man who loses all his loved ones, and sets off on a journey to revisit his past and fulfill a promise made to his dying mother.
*Ritornato is unavailable to view at is being considered for a film festival.

Spaghetti Western
By: Giovanni Carnuccio III
“Spaghetti Western” is a documentary illuminates the struggles of preserving our cultural identity in areas of our country where Italian Americans are isolated and alone.

https://vimeo.com/355961415

Mamma’s Men
By: Mary Davis
“Mamma’s Men,” examines the unique relationship Italian American mothers have with their sons, and demonstrates the importance of the matriarch’s role in the Italian American family.

https://vimeo.com/357267281/cd844969a8

Columbus on Trial
By: Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno
“Columbus on Trial” is a narrative story of the famed explorer who returns to defend his legacy by educating those who seek to rewrite world history.
*Columbus on Trial is unavailable to view at is being considered for a film festival.