AGBO & ISDA announce 2024 grant recipients of ‘Russo Brothers Italian American filmmaker forum’

Apr 11, 2024 1027

AGBO and the Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA) are pleased to announce the 2024 grant recipients for the Russo Brothers Italian American Filmmaker Forum (RBIAFF). Five filmmaking teams were each awarded a $10,000 production grant to make a short film based on a submitted concept that depicts and explores aspects of the Italian American experience.

Applicants from across the US submitted 3-minute sizzle reels, and the grant recipients were chosen by a selection committee composed of executives at AGBO and leadership at the ISDA. A winning film will be selected from the group to receive an additional $10,000 grant, and admittance into the AGBO Storytellers Collective, an alumni network of young filmmakers that have been honored by AGBO fellowships or competitions. 

The Storytellers Collective offers ongoing mentorship and industry guidance from AGBO executives. Beyond mentorship, it also serves as a community for these filmmakers to connect with one another and collaborate, nurturing and supporting each other’s growth as artists. To date, AGBO and the ISDA have awarded over $400,000 in RBIAFF grants, aiding 47 passionate filmmakers to realize their creative visions. 

The 2024 recipients and the subject of their films are:


THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC, directed by Alan Trinca (Los Angeles)

Logline: A down-and-out asphalt laborer, struggling to balance family with his pursuit of becoming a jazz singer, faces an opportunity that could change his life forever.


MY KIND OF PEOPLE, directed by Joe Picozzi (New York)

Logline: After a DNA test uncovers his father's adoption, a proud paesano grapples with the revelation that he's not actually Italian American, and never has been. With the foundation of his identity destroyed, and his familial bonds broken, he begins to spiral.


LASCIARE, directed by Cara Ronzetti (New York)

Logline: Over a dinner in the years 1944, 1984, and 2024, an Italian-American family reconciles with the meaning of home, the cost of identity, and all that's left behind.


SALVATION IS WITHIN YOU!, directed by Luke Simboli and Dylan Springer (New York)

Logline: A narrative thriller inspired by historical events, SALVATION IS WITHIN YOU! explores the complexities of a burgeoning Italian-American identity through the lens of immigration and anarchism in the fraught weeks leading up to the infamous Sacco and Vanzetti trial of the 1920s.


THE FENCER, directed by Nicholas Marchetti (New York)

Logline: A promising young fencer stands ready to risk her own health for a chance to succeed and win her father's approval.


Thank you for supporting the Russo Brothers Italian American Filmmaker Forum!

If you would like more information on how to donate to future RBIAFF Fellowships, please visit

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