Andrea Doria Shipwreck Docufilm Produced by Michigan Survivor Pierette Simpson Heads for Washington D.C.

Oct 10, 2018 270

Author and documentarian, Pierette Domenica Simpson, heads to Washington D.C. to screen her award-winning docufilm, Andrea Doria: Are the Passengers Saved?, which is based on her book, “Alive on the Andrea Doria: The Greatest Sea Rescue in History”. Both works recount the most catastrophic maritime collision of July 25, 1956 on the Atlantic Ocean. 

“Andrea Doria: Are the Passengers Saved?”, directed by award-winner, Luca Guardabascio of Rome, has been invited to screen at one of the largest Italian-American entities: The Italian American Foundation (NIAF) at the Marriott Wardman Hotel of D.C. on Saturday, October 13, at 11:45 p.m. in Roosevelt Room 4 where Simpson will be joined by fellow survivors of the Andrea Doria shipwreck and the film’s photographer, Richard Haskin. http://www.niaf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/NIAF-Weekend-Schedule-as-of-9-27.pdf The event is FREE and open to the public. 

The docufilm was chosen for its relevance to a new exhibition opening at the NIAF Museum, “Lontane Americhe” (The Far Away Americas). Expo organizer, Julia Streisfeld explains, “Pierette’s docufilm exemplifies one of the many struggles endured by Italian immigrants headed to the New World—an experience that must be remembered for its contributions to our great country.” The museum’s ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Friday, October 12 at 2 p.m. where Simpson will be present. 

“As a first-time film producer, I’m thrilled to have been invited to share my labor of love to this major Italian-American event in the U.S. This validates the result of being passionate about one’s heritage, and my film was created with that spirit by documenting past injustices toward my people.” The film’s structure intertwines Simpson’s personal account of immigration and survival at sea, period re-enactments, and interviews with naval experts, historians, and survivors seek to finally set the historical record straight by vindicating the Italian captain in the Andrea Doria-Stockholm collision. 

“Andrea Doria: Are the Passengers Saved”, by director Luca Guardabascio, won “Best Feature Documentary” at the Salerno International Film Festival and “Audience Choice” award at the Royal Starr Film Festival. It premiered in both Italy and the U.S., at the Museum of the Sea/Immigration of Genoa and at the Detroit Film Theatre. It has been screened at many film festivals from Hollywood, to Toronto, to the Italian Parliament. It was filmed in the U.S. and in Italy. Simpson is seeking distribution of her docufilm. 

Simpson is now considered the first person to publish an all-inclusive book and produce a film about one's shipwreck. Both works recount the human and scientific aspects of the collision. Her English book, “Alive on the Andrea Doria: The Greatest Sea Rescue in History” was published in Italy by Sperling & Kupfer as “L'ultima notte dell'Andrea Doria.” The author also published a novel suitable for younger audiences, “I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria: The Titanic of the 1950s”. 

NIAF is a major resource for the Italian American Community; to preserve the Italian American heritage and culture; to promote and inspire a positive image and legacy of Italian Americans; and to strengthen and empower ties between the United States and Italy. 

Discussions are in progress by the Italian Ministry of Culture (MITBAC) for a feature film, “The Hidden Truth”, based on Ms. Simpson’s research leading to three book publications on the Andrea Doria, followed by the docufilm. “The film would be the ultimate tribute to my mother and grand-parents who sacrificed everything to bring me to America,” Simpson shares.  

Considered an authority on her own shipwreck, Simpson is regularly interviewed about her story and her related artistic contributions. A recent interview on Art Detroit, WADL TV https://youtu.be/U9ni20_v7Q4 

For further information on Simpson’s publications and docufilm: www.pierettesimpson.com and www.andreadoriamovie.com (trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyFUiRrE230)

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