Italian American Collaboration of Andrea Doria Docufilm Earns BEST DIRECTOR award at the Asti International Film Festival

Jun 08, 2021 493

BY: Pierette Domenica Simpson

As the Asti International Film Festival celebrated its 10-year anniversary, on May 29 it bestowed the esteemed “Best Director” award to Luca Guardabascio of Rome for his direction of the Italian American docufilm, “Andrea Doria: Are the Passengers Saved?” (“I passeggeri sono salvi?”)

The multi-award winning docufilm was written and produced by Italian born, Pierette Domenica Simpson, now living in Michigan. There were 400 submissions from several countries for the coveted entry into the Asti Film Festival. 

“Luca’s creative genius and his grasp of the controversial shipwreck of 1956 earned him the much deserved ‘Best Director’ award. No one could have interpreted with such depth and artistry my personal story of survival on the Atlantic and the books I’ve written on the catastrophic collision. I believe it takes two people from each side of the ocean to retell a dark part of Italian maritime history. The fact that Asti is in the Piemonte, the region where I was born, makes earning the award very special to me”, explains Simpson.

“Andrea Doria: Are the Passengers Saved” was filmed in both the Detroit area, the East Coast, and in Italy. It featured Simpson’s friends in Michigan and in her village in the Piemonte. Also included were survivors, naval experts, divers, and archival footage from Ansaldo Shipyard.

“Andrea Doria: Are the Passengers Saved” has made the film festival circuit from Hollywood’s Los Angeles-Italia, Toronto’s Italian Contemporary Cinema, Italian Film Festival USA, the Italian Parliament of Rome and the global endeavor “Fare Cinema” in Chicago; in all, about 20 film festivals and nearly 24 recognitions-awards.

Simpson adds, “I’m especially proud of being invited to many Italian institutions. We went to NIAF, the Calandra Italian American Institute, Columbus Citizens Foundation, and many others. Each time it was at least in part a tribute to the great navigator, Cristoforo Colombo.”

Simpson explains, “It is the love for my heritage that has led me to reveal and correct a terrible injustice toward my captain, crew, and shipbuilders regarding this catastrophic and controversial shipwreck. It is also a tribute to my grandparents who were bringing me to America; It would honor their sacrifice if they were to be featured on the big screen of a feature film one day!”

In commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Andrea Doria tragedy, the docufilm will be aired on CUNY TV on Sunday, July 25 @ 3pm and on Monday, July 26, @ 6am, 12pm, 10pm. A 15-minute teaser of the film will be shown at a private commemoration event in New Jersey.

For further information on Simpson’s publications and docufilm: and


Contact Pierette Domenica Simpson for questions, interviews, and distribution inquiries:

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