On January 28, NYWIFT members and supporters gathered for our monthly member screening at the Anthology Film Archives. This month’s feature was Sister Italy, a heartfelt cultural comedy.
As an aspiring filmmaker, I admire creators — those who defy expectations to represent new ideas and innovate storytelling. Sister Italy boldly met that admiration.
Directed by Angelo Bonsignore, the film is the vision of Angela Rago, who wrote the script and plays one of the lead characters. I caught up with Rago after the film to speak more on the project’s fruition and its significance to her community. Rago refers to the characters as “dying,” and sought to immortalize several generations with humorous writing and realistic characters.
I decided to write a play for the Italian community when I was 20 years old. They couldn’t believe a woman was writing a play – putting a theater company together. [The Italian community] needed enforcement and a place to go. And when it became a big success I said, [laughs] ‘You see what a woman can do?’
People would identify themselves in the play. People were taking their mothers…farmers that had never been to a theater saw a portrayal of their life. My mother used to say, ‘Life is a battle’. If you stop, you are lost. You have to go on no matter what happens. If you want to do something, don’t let anyone stop you. I knew I had an audience. A writer is an audience too.
The film’s close-knit team undoubtedly replicated this at our program; audience members rolled with laughter and noted the film’s relateable content in a post-film Q&A session. Sister Italy empowers the Italian-American identity through unapologetic visibility.
— SONTENISH MYERS
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Let’s welcome new NYWIFT member Ekaterina Korshunova! Ekaterina (or Kate for short) attended Moscow’s RUDN University where she graduated with a degree in journalism. Kate currently works as a freelance social media coordinator and producer. She has filmed and produced promotional videos for many local businesses as well as major brands. She spoke to us about her move to the US, her teaching philosophy, and her dreams for the future.READ MORE
Welcome, new NYWIFT member Ching Juhl! Ching is a Chinese American filmmaker, video journalist, and music educator who has directed, filmed, edited, and produced three feature films, promotional videos, and hundreds of shorts. Her feature documentary My Yang Gang Diary, which she shot entirely on an iPhone 11, won Best Feature Film Award at Toronto Documentary Film Festival in 2021. Ching spoke to us about the benefits of shooting on iPhone, the intersection of music and filmmaking, and the friends who brought her to NYWIFT.READ MORE
Let’s give a warm NYWIFT welcome to new member Elizabeth Ramjit! Elizabeth is an accomplished film/video editor with 10 years of experience in film and tv production and advertising. Elizabeth loves bringing awareness to current events and pressing world issues, to inspire important conversations among her audience. She’s always interested in new opportunities to explore new avenues of content, and enjoys brining her unique perspective to her collaborators’ projects. Elizabeth spoke to us about what stories inspire her, her dreams for the future, and why she could be #YourFavoriteFemaleEditor.READ MORE