The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum Announces 2018 Grant Finalists

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 3, 2018) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and the Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA) are excited to announce the 2018 grant finalists for The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum. Spearheaded by directors Anthony and Joe Russo, the Film Forum is 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 three finalists listed below were selected to receive $8,000 each to fund their film projects. The selection committee believes each of them presents a specific vision for the exploration of truly interesting and dynamic themes. Previews of all three films will be screened during NIAF’s 43rd Anniversary Gala Weekend, October 12-14, and the winning film will be announced during the Gala Awards Dinner.

The three 2018 finalists are:

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

Jeannine 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.

Tim Moriarty, whose film “The Field Afar: The Life of Fr. Vincent Capodanno” 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.

We would also like to give Honorable Mention to 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.

Congratulations to all! NIAF and ISDA look forward to presenting these screenings during NIAF’s 43rd Anniversary Gala Weekend, a special three-day event of Italian American pride at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. For more information about the weekend, please visit

For more information on The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum, please visit

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to preserving, promoting and protecting the Italian American heritage and culture. Based in Washington, D.C., it is the major advocate for nearly 25 million Italian Americans, the nation’s fifth largest ethnic group. To learn more about the Foundation and become a member, please visit

For 88 years, the Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA) has kept a strong sense of community alive and thriving to become one of the largest and most financially successful Italian American organizations in the country. The ISDA unites Italian Americans across states nationwide to celebrate our culture and preserve the traditions our ancestors brought with them from Italy. To learn more about the ISDA and become a member, please visit