Join us as we document one family's Christmas Eve journey through this hectic but always heartwarming holiday experience. Buon Natale!
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Film Documentary by Sal Del Giudice, Victor Ribaudo & Bill Brady
Contact: Tre Pesci Films • Sal Del Giudice • 212.971.0400
As Italian-Americans, the creators of this documentary have always enjoyed and cherished our traditions of family, love and food. These have been the mainstays of our unique culture. A legacy that was handed down to us from the small hill towns of our beloved Italy through our grandparents and parents, as well as aunts and uncles. Our years of living the Italian-American experience have taught us that food is actually synonymous with love. A serious business.
Nothing quite exemplifies this as strongly as our Christmas Eve celebration of the Seven Fishes. All the family dinners and get-togethers throughout the year culminate in this one evening of feasting and festivity. Truly a meal elevated to an art form.
While most Americans celebrate Christmas Eve with baked hams, eggnog and tree trimming parties, the majority of Italian-Americans are enjoying a dinner comprised of seven fish dishes.
Some say the number comes from the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. Others say that it’s because God created the universe in seven days. Most don’t say anything at all. It’s tradition, and seven fishes will adorn the table that evening come what may.
The celebration of Christmas Eve isn’t a one day affair. It takes weeks of planning and preparation. The creators of this documentary entitled “Feast of the Seven Fishes” wish to document the lead-up and culmination of this beloved festival for time in memoriam. We ourselves have never been bystanders. We have lived it all our lives. As loving children, we help plan for weeks and weeks ahead of the holiday. We participate in the communal preparations.
We lovingly embrace our families as we partake of the meal. It is pure joy to us. Our purpose, therefore, is to create a documentary film that will provide the world with a unique glimpse of what Seven Fishes means to us and our fellow Italian-Americans. A portrait, so to speak, of Christmas Eve in Italian-American homes.
We plan on introducing the audience to the Seven Fishes story through a portrait of one Italian-American family. We will join them several weeks before Christmas Eve. Our cameras will film them on a journey as they plan, shop, prepare, cook and eventually entertain on the Eve.
We will be there with cameras and mic as the matriarchs – Mae (Mother), Victor (son) and Phil (Father) sit to discuss what’s on the menu. Mamma is responsible for the ordering of the fish. Her son will drive her to the store to pick it up. Victor is the chef de cuisine, in charge of most of the cooking, Santa (daughter) and Christian (grandson) are the sous chefs.
After all, someone has to be there to chop the 10 pounds of garlic and 20 pounds of parsley needed for the dinner. The men are not to be excluded. Someone has to buy the pastries the morning of the Eve, which may involve standing on a line that turns the corner of Villabate, Brooklyn’s most prized bakery shoppe. Phil will probably be charged with that job. Tables and chairs, often rented,need to be set up. Richard, Santa and Christian will take care of that chore. There’s so much to do. After all, who will bake the fig cookies? Probably Santa, if she’s in the mood this year. Of course, we will offer background information and personal family stories told directly to the camera by each member of these families. These folks often identify themselves by their family recipes. These filmed interviews and family interactions will provide the audience with real characters they will become acquainted with, care about, and eventually love as much as we do.
Given the fun loving aspect of the Italian-American, we anticipate lots of humorous interactions,stories and anecdotes. There is also a deep sense of passion in this exceptional group of Americans. We therefore expect some very poignant moments in the film. Stories about familymembers who are no longer with us. The immense faith of those families who view the Eve as a dedication to the true meaning of Christmas. Something all viewers will be moved by, and perhaps even associate with in their own traditions.
The ultimate objectives of this documentary are manifold. First, we want to permanently record this beloved feast through the real stories of those who live it every year. The unfortunate reality is that our children may or may not continue the tradition. As young Italian-Americans leave the neighborhood, they often lose touch with our culture. Christmas Eve is something their Moms still do. Will these folks continue the tradition when mothers and grandmothers are no longer there? This is a question we cannot answer with certainty. We can only say that through our own acquaintances, the Feast of the Seven Fishes is slowly becoming a thing of the past. We therefore need to document it now, while it is still alive and well in several of our communities.
Second, we’re looking to promote and celebrate Italian-American culture and heritage with a loving, non-stereotypical look at Italian-American families and our heritage. This is very important to us.
Our mission is to enter "Feast of the Seven Fishes" into film festivals and seek distribution for a mass audience. There is no better way to reach an audience than through the powerful medium of film. And there may be no more engaging – and under-explored – subject than the Italian-American Christmas Eve. "Feast of the Seven Fishes" film documentary will celebrate thevitality of this tradition. Something everyone will be happy to be a part of.
HOW YOUR MONEY CAN HELP
The overall cost to premiere The Feast of the 7 Fishes in NYC is $27,600. We have already put $10,000 of our own money plus time and a lot of sweat equity. This leavesuswith a $17.600 shortfall. We need your help to raise that. If you do, together we can begin introducing "The Feast of the 7 Fishes" not just to the nostalgic few but to the rest of the world
Your pledge would help cover these expenses:
-- $10,000 for remaining editing
-- $1,500 b-roll and still photography
-- $2,000 for music licensing
-- $2,200 for a publicist
-- $1,000 for online advertising
-- $350 to create a bluray for theatrical exhibition
-- $550 publicity materials (posters, postcards, flyers)
We are producing, shooting and distributing "Feast of the 7 Fishes" on our own. Traditionally, a distributor would pay for the advertising costs. Since we don't have the financial backing of a distributor all costs associated with the film fall on our shoulders. We as filmmakers want to tell stories. By removing the barriers to entry that the traditional process has and going directly to donors like yourself we can make the movie we want unfiltered, expose an audience to a story that would most likely never be told and give ordinary people a chance to participate in the process.
WHAT IF WE DON'T REACH OUR GOAL?
If funding fails, all pledges are canceled. Your card is not charged.
CAN WE EXCEED OUR GOAL?
Yes, we can! If we exceed our goal then we can use all those additional funds to get the film out and reach a wider audience. We will spend the money on advertising the film
Kickstarter is a unique way for people to get involved. It's an all-or-nothing funding method where we either reach our goal and get all the funds or don't reach our goal and get none of them. In other words, if we don’t raise our goal of $25,000, we lose everything. Once we reach our goal, we'll be in touch to get your address so we can send you your reward.
HOW TO PLEDGE
Just click the green “Back This Project” button in the upper right-hand corner. You will be asked to input your pledge amount and select a reward. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. You must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded.
CAN YOU DONATE ANONYMOUSLY?
Yes. It just requires you create a new Kickstarter identity/log in and use that when you pledge. Just be sure to use a secondary email address when registering so the system doesn't get confused.
CAN I DONATE FROM OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?
Yes. You can donate from any country in the world! If you have any problems just contact us.
WANT TO HELP BUT CAN'T DONATE?
Become an Outreach Partner! Write something about the film! Spread the word about the film in your community and receive a special Outreach Partner credit on our website. We’d love to discuss partnering with you, your organization, your community to help get the word out about the film. You can also share this link with friends and write about the campaign so more people know about it. Please contact us with any questions.
Sal, Bill and Vic
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.