ANTONY OSSO’S FEATURE DOCUMENTARY "PIZZA SHOP: AN ITALIAN-AMERICAN DREAM,” CELEBRATING RUDY’S RISTORANTE, AN INSTITUTION IN CLOSTER, NJ, FOR OVER 50 YEARS, SETS WORLD PREMIERE AND SPECIAL NYC SCREENING
The hour-long film will premiere at the Golden Door International Film Festival in Jersey City on October 6, and screen as part of CUNY’s John D. Calandra Italian American Institute’s “Documented Italians” Film and Video Series in midtown Manhattan on November 30.
The documentary was completed this spring, after shooting for ten days between July 2015 and May 2016 in New Jersey and Calabria, Italy. It explores brothers Charlie and Fred Osso’s emigration from poverty-stricken southern Italy in the early 1960s, the journey from odd jobs to owning a successful restaurant, and the inner workings that lead to the delicious pizza and Italian food for which they’re known.
“When I first started making the film, my intention was to celebrate a community institution: my father and uncle's pizzeria, which has been feeding families for decades,” Osso explained. “But when I looked at the footage more closely, I found a more vital story: I saw the trail of an immigrant experience marked by isolation, sacrifice, doubt and courage, and a success borne of hard work, tireless self-discipline, and optimism. I saw the American Dream realized.
“This discovery could not have been more timely; now that immigrants are eyed with renewed suspicion by our government, I’m honored to share a detailed story celebrating the immigrants who are the backbone of America.”
Along with its premiere at Golden Door, “Pizza Shop” is an official selection of the Ojai Film Festival and the St. Louis International Film Festival. More festival screenings are forthcoming.
“Pizza Shop: An Italian-American Dream” Synopsis:
What is an immigrant's typical experience in America? How does he envision the American Dream, how does he strive towards its promise of a better life for himself and his children? What does he sacrifice, and what does he gain?
PIZZA SHOP introduces us to Charlie and Fred Osso, immigrant brothers from Calabria, Italy, who have run a successful pizzeria and restaurant in a strip mall in northern New Jersey for nearly forty years. Emigrating from impoverished post-war Italy with a rudimentary elementary-school education, they had little chance for advancement. Through hard work, resilience, and the opportunities provided in the U.S., they've thrived.
Now in their seventies, they’re facing a forced relocation, construction of a new restaurant, their sons’ attempts to update the management style, and encroaching old age. But retirement is a dirty word to these workhorses: Charlie is serious and detail-oriented, with a short fuse and a soft center, while Fred is light-hearted and easy-going, a passionate chef and bon vivant.
With humor and insight, filmmaker Antony Osso explores how a Mom-and-Pop shop can be a vital hub for a community, the sacrifices parents make for their children, and what it means for immigrants when they live out the American Dream.
Official Website: https://www.pizzashop
Official Film Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com
Official YouTube Channel: Rudy's Ristorante & Pizzeria YouTube Channel
Official Film Soundtrack:
The soundtrack to “Pizza Shop”, composed by Eric V. Hachikian, is available to stream here: "Pizza Shop" Original Soundtrack - Soundcloud
"PIZZA SHOP: AN ITALIAN-AMERICAN DREAM"
MUSIC BY ERIC V. HACHIKIAN EDITED BY NICOLAS CUELLAR
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY MARTINA RADWAN
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS CARMINE OSSO FIORE OSSO RICK OSSO PRODUCED BY LAURA NESPOLA ANTONY OSSO
DIRECTED BY ANTONY OSSO