Alan Trinca, Joe Picozzi, Cara Ronzetti, Luke Simboli, Dylan Springer and Nicholas Marchetti are awarded $10,000 production grants for their short film applications in Russo Brothers’ 7th annual Italian American filmmaker fellowship program.


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 all across the United States submitted 3-minute sizzle reels, and the grant recipients were chosen by a selection committee comprised 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.

Left to Right: Anthony Russo, Jon Favreu, Lou D'Esposito, Angela Russo-Otstot, Donald Mustard & Joe Russo

In January 2024, AGBO hosted the first annual RBIAFF event where Louis D’Esposito, Co-President of Marvel Studios, was presented with the inaugural “Renaissance Award,” a distinguished honor to celebrate the outstanding contributions to Italian American heritage and the entertainment industry. The winning filmmaker from this year’s grant recipients will screen their film at a future RBIAFF event at AGBO in Downtown Los Angeles.

For more information on The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum, please visit