Award-winning International Docufilm Written and Produced by Pierette Domenica Simpson of Novi Will Air on WTVS Detroit Public TV (PBS) Thursday, July 25 in Honor of the 63rd Anniversary of the Sea Tragedy

Jul 22, 2019 1842

“Andrea Doria: Are the Passengers Saved?, written and produced by Pierette Domenica Simpson of Novi, directed by Luca Guardabascio of Rome, will air on WTVS Detroit Public TV in the Detroit Metropolitan Area and throughout Canada on Thursday, July 25 at 9:00pm. 

Simpson’s work is based on a true story: her immigration to America, from Italy, to meet her mother who she had not seen for 8 years. Pierette was only 9 when accompanied to Detroit by her grand-parents. Their American dream was interrupted by the tragic collision at sea between the Swedish liner Stockholm and the Italian liner Andrea Doria on the foggy night of July 25, 1956. The experience, and later discovering that her captain crew and Italian shipbuilders were unjustly maligned for the tragedy, inspired her literary and cinematic works. 

“Although we’ve traveled far and wide with the docufilm, I’m very grateful to Dave Devereaux, Senior V.P. of Broadcasting at Detroit Public TV, for broadcasting the docufilm to nearly 3 million households; this will have a greater impact on my 16-year mission: to confront the historical record and vindicate my captain, crew, and shipbuilders,” exclaims Simpson. 

“Andrea Doria: Are the Passengers Saved?” is based on Simpson’s book, Alive on the Andrea Doria: The Greatest Sea Rescue in History, and the Italian version, L’ultima notte dell’Andrea Doria. The docufilm has won 6 awards, including “Best feature documentary” from the Salerno International Film Festival” and “Audience Choice” award from the Royal Starr Film Festival of Royal Oak. It has been screened in the U.S., Canada, and Italy—including at the Italian Parliament. Roman director, Luca Guardabascio won 4 awards. 

Detroit area actors, including Eva Evola, Richard Haskin, Elizabeth Atkins, Judges William Giovan and Joseph Toia, and local survivor Germaine Strobel have roles in the scene filmed in Ferndale by M-I Studios of Ferndale.


In 1956, nine-year-old Piera survived the horrific Andrea-Doria-Stockholm sea collision with her grand-parents while immigrating to America to meet Piera’s mother. Piera, now Pierette in her 60’s, becomes the on-camera narrator who leads us to relive the struggle of extreme survival on the Atlantic Ocean, and who staunchly confronts the scientific and political elements that led to the “most catastrophic and controversial sea collision in history”. The docufilm, “Are the Passengers Saved?”, written and produced by Pierette Simpson, features vivid dramatization filmed in Italy and the U.S., as well as archival footage. Interviews with maritime experts and fellow survivors provide supporting evidence which finally uncovers the true story leading to a vindication of the Andrea Doria captain and crew. 

For further information on Simpson’s publications and docufilm: and (more links below). Trailer:

SOURCE: Pierette Simpson

You may be interested