One of the best parts of our TFT tour was spending a couple of hours at the White Sands on our way back to Texas. Rolling white "gypsum" dunes and blue skies stretch as far as the eye can see. A strange place that could only be found in the mythical Southwest of the United States, an area filled with magic and mystery that has inspired countless writers, poets, scholars, painters and filmmakers.
Italians have also been some of the many who have succumbed to the wonders of the American Southwest; Sergio Leone, for example, spent most of his career paying homage to this very particular stretch of land. Tex, the Italian comic book that we feature in Tiramisu for Two, is another Italian-created compendium of stories that is focused on that world of cacti, horses and cowboys that comprises Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California
Below a photo diary with pictures from the different stops we had in our Southwest tour this past October. We thank everyone for their warm "Southern" hospitality; we had an incredible experience traveling to your cities and sharing our Texan Italian film with "Ya'll".
We kicked off our tour in Austin, TX on Friday September 22nd. This TFT screening was hosted at the University of Texas as a special event presented by the Department of French and Italian and the Department of Radio, Television, Film. The night was excellent; the cutting edge screening room at the RTF department filled up with a good mix of students, scholars, locals, TFT fans and folks who had heard about our film. Professors Paola Bonifazio & Nancy Schiesari kicked off the night by introducing the film. After the screening, we hosted a special Q&A with many special guests including the one and only Bobby Olson (Giorgio). Special thanks to media guru Keefe Boerner for all the crucial support he provided; our screening was a success because of you, plus the film really looked and sounded beautiful!
After Austin we headed to our dear City of Houston. GO ASTROS! ;).
There, we traveled to Sugarland to attend the very first Umbria in Sugarland film festival, a fantastic initiative spearheaded by Tiziana Triolo, someone who has done wonders for the Italian community of that big Southern metropolis.
At the Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce, our director Sergio gave a presentation on "The Art of Filmmaking. At the seminar, we also heard presentations by Matteo Bendinelli an Italian Foley Master who presented on the "Art of Foley in Italy and the world" and Adrian Pacini a super-bright young Italian-American filmmaker who has been creating award winning short films.
On Thursday Oct. 5th we stopped in Dallas, TX to say hello to the folks of the University of Dallas and members of the Dallas Italian community. We had an amazing time with Dr. Anthony Nussmeier and his students. Dr Nussmeier is the director of the wonderful Italian program at the University of Dallas. During our visit we filmed footage that you will be able to see as part of the TFT PreShow in our Dallas screening Thursday, November 9th at 7Pm. Before we left the city we also visited the iconic Joe's Italian Grill and met with the sweet Mary AnnWebster from COMITES and some of her dear friends from the Italian club in Dallas. All very lovely women with very interesting stories.
After Dallas we hit I-40 straight to Albuquerque, New Mexico. In Albuquerque we had the
pleasure of meeting Maria Berry and her husband Bob. Maria is the amazingly energetic coordinator of the New Mexico Italian Film & Culture Festival, who did an unbelievable job in organizing and promoting a very special TFT screening on Sunday October 8th. The night before the screening we had a delicious dinner at Scalo Ristorante and got to meet different members of the Italian community of Albuquerque; all truly genuine and kind people who have great pride for their Italian heritage. We filmed one particularly fascinating story by John Paolino and his lovely wife Cathy. We will be releasing this story in our next Newsletter on early December. The screening was better than what we could have ever expected; we had a beautiful crowd of well over 100 folks on a Sunday evening who laughed, cried, screamed, and stayed until the very end to ask us many interesting questions. After the screening we were approached by many enthusiastic audience members, including a San Marcos native and a couple who had lived in Italy and also worked in San Marcos, TX. Hearing everyone's connection to Texas, San Marcos, and Italy was quite unique... we thank you all of you again for coming out to see TFT!
SAN DIEGO, CA
Our next stop in the tour was sunny San Diego, California where TFT had been chosen as part of the prestigious San Diego Italian Film Festival (SDIFF), the most important Italian film festival in the US. The night of the showing was fantastic, we played the film at the gorgeous Balboa Park to a beautiful audience. We even had the privilege of counting with TFT actors David Harper (Johnny) and Shelby Comito (Young Hope) in attendance. After our screening on Tuesday October 10th, we attended some of the other excellent Italian films that were selected for the festival. The entire SDIFF was a very special experience; special thanks to Antonio Iannotta, Diana Agostini, and Victor Laruccia, as well as to the SDIFF board and president Sandra Silverstein, for making us feel like Rockstars!. We wrapped up our adventures in San Diego by giving a Master Class at San Diego State University to a packed room of students who heard our stories about the ITALCHANNEL.TV project and our "transmedia" creation experiences. Many thanks to SDSU's Italian Department Chair Dr. Claudia Clo, for her incredible hospitality. We will also be forever grateful to the fantastic Dr Antonio Iannotta and his lovely partner Lamia for all the awesome moments, especially those spent eating at San Diego's Little Italy!! ; )