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From Fairfield to Manhattan with The Italian Factor

The recent presentation of "The Italian Factor" at Fairfield University marked a significant step forward in our filmmaking journey. The event commenced with thought-provoking insights from Professor Mary Ann Carolan, setting the stage for a screening of a segment from our documentary. This segment delved into the early years of the Piccirilli brothers in Italy before their immigration to New York in 1888.


The Italian Factor by Eduardo Montes-Bradley
Fairfield University. Bellarmine Hall

The Italian Factor by Eduardo Montes-Bradley
Fairfield University, Diffley Room

Following the screening, I had the privilege of sharing nearly fifty previously unseen images, offering a glimpse into the extensive work that will be featured in the completed film. The engagement, which took place at the Bellarmine Hall, Diffley Room, brought together students, faculty, and esteemed guests. The subsequent exchange of questions and answers enriched the discussion, providing valuable insights and perspectives.


I am deeply grateful for the sponsorship and support extended by various departments and institutes at Fairfield University, including the Italian Studies, Modern Languages & Literatures Department, Visual Performing Arts Department, Fairfield University Art Museum, The Arts Institute, and the Humanities Institute. It was an honor to collaborate with individuals who share a profound passion for Italian culture and history.


The Italian Factor, From Fairfield to Manhattan


In another exciting development, I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Caterina Pierre in New York. Caterina's scholarly work predates my own interest in the Piccirilli Brothers, and I am thrilled to announce that she has agreed to contribute her expertise and on-camera presence to "The Italian Factor." Her invaluable insights will enrich our narrative and add depth to the project.

Caterina's involvement now joins that of other esteemed scholars, including Michele Bogart, Michele Cohen, Joseph Sciorra, Lisa Ackerman, Thayer Tolles, and others, further enhancing the interdisciplinary nature of our endeavor.


Tomorrow, I will have the opportunity to address the parish at St. Nicholas of Myra Orthodox Church in the Lower East Side. This historic site holds significance as the location where Attilio Piccirilli and Onorio Ruotolo established the Leonardo da Vinci Art School in 1924. Sadly, this legacy has often been overlooked in community memory and historical records. My hope is that my presence tomorrow will help reignite awareness and appreciation for this important piece of local history.


Thank you to all who have supported and followed the journey of "The Italian Factor." Together, we are working to shed light on untold stories and preserve the rich cultural heritage of our shared past.

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