Italy’s Leone Film Group, the company founded by Spaghetti Western master Sergio Leone, has been on a roaring roll since 2012. That’s when his children, Raffaella and Andrea, who now run the company, spotted a theatrical distribution gap left open by Medusa and Rai Cinema and stepped in to swiftly sign an output deal with DreamWorks. This, in turn,...

It took a former film finance pro to figure out how to bring back to life the space that once housed Café des Artistes, a favorite Hollywood hangout throughout the ’90s and ’00s. After the cozy restaurant closed in 2011, the spot sat empty until first-time restaurant owner Francesco Zimone bought rights to open the first U.S. location for Naples’ f...

Hollywood is a tough industry to break into. So many people make the pilgrimage to epicenter of the entertainment industry only to be rejected time and time again. It’s a tough place to try and make it and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. It takes a strong backbone and an even stronger will to make it. It is important to acknowledge tha...

Once again, a couple of down-to-earth brothers from the Midwest are proving the sky is the limit for Italian Americans in Tinseltown. Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Avengers: Endgame, have just unveiled the most popular (and most profitable) cinematic experience in Hollywood’s history. Just take a look at the numbers so far, as audiences f...

Italy and the US experienced a multifaceted relationship from 1943 to 1955. After the war the US played a historic role in assisting Italy with rebuilding and planning its future. Threatening this effort, both within and beyond Italy’s borders, were communism and the Italian Communist Political Party (PCI). During the rebuilding of Italy the US...

“I always dreamed of working, one day, in the entertainment industry and, being an extremely ambitious person, I had high standards: I wanted to go to Hollywood and become an agent, but especially a producer.”  Oscar Generale’s tenacity brought him exactly where he desired, in Los Angeles, where his goal of becoming a film producer and an expert in...

Fabled Italian film star Claudia Cardinale has been the muse of such filmmakers as Luchino Visconti. Over the past six decades, she’s worked with such master directors as Federico Fellini, Sergio Leone and Werner Herzog. But when she began her career as a teenager, Cardinale voice was considered too husky, so it was dubbed for her early films. Th...

“Ladies and gentleman, welcome, welcome; it’s show time!” announces a tux-donning gentleman on stage as fringed velvet curtains part to reveal a cast, gloriously clad in Gucci, singing and dancing in the style of classic golden-age movie musicals to the 1946 Irving Berlin song, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” The performances conjure up t...

“The animator is an artist who could have been an actor but, being very shy, decided to work behind the scenes.” Says Mitja Rabar, the 40 years old Italian animator, whose shyness was balanced out by a great artistic talent and a passion for drawing and animation.  I meet Mitja,  who is from Trieste and currently the only Italian animator working f...

Lillo Brancato Jr leans over the table at a beloved pizza joint in Yonkers and bows his shaved head slightly, pointing out a nasty scar behind his left ear on the back of his scalp. It’s about an inch and a half long and jagged; he got it when he jumped from a moving car almost 15 years ago, irrationally convinced his friends were out to get him as...