At the AAR, a Premiere for Young L’Aquila Filmmakers Documenting Italian Emigration Today

Why do so many Italians leave their country, and what draws them to America? Four student filmmakers from L’Accademia dell’ Immagine in L’Aquila—displaced by the devastating April 2009 earthquake that struck Abruzzo—explored this question as they found themselves completing their studies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. What emerged was a remarkable 2010 documentary that examined the experiences of eight very different emigrants from Italy, ranging from an effervescent Italian-language radio personality, to a philosophical Neapolitan lawyer-cum-blues musician, to a high-powered medical researcher.

On the evening of Friday 25 February the AAR co-hosted with the Rome office of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) the Italian premiere of the L’Aquila students’ film, entitled “Familiar and Strange: Italiani di Pittsburgh”. It was UPMC that had supported these students’ studies in America. Of the film’s four directors—Michele Giacardi, Flavia Tiberi, Antonio Paolucci, and Juri Fantigrossi—three were present and fielded the audience’s questions in the animated discussion that followed the screening.

Friday 25 February 8.40 PM: early arrivals for the screening gather in the AAR Gallery, to view part of the current exhibition of the Academy’s Italian Affiliated Fellows in the Arts

Friday 25 February 9.05 PM. Opening remarks by Laura Raimondo, Senior Vice-President Research and Development Operations UPMC International Division

Friday 25 February 10.10 PM. Discussion with the filmmakers, moderated by AAR Director Christopher Celenza (FAAR’94). From left, Celenza; Michele Giacardi, Flavia Tiberi, Juri Fantigrossi

In addition to the Rome office of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, sponsors of the event included Alfa International, Casale del Giglio, and Studio Immagine di Carrano Maurizio.

Friday 25 February 10.50 PM: informal discussion of the film continues in the AAR’s Cryptoporticus

AAR Mellon Professor Corey Brennan FAAR’88 organized the event for the Academy, with the assistance especially of AAR Director of External Affairs Raimondo Astarita, Assistant for External Affairs Tina Cancemi, and Senior Programs Associate Anne Coulson, as well as Simona Abbro, Director of UPMC International Marketing Communications.

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