Russo Brothers Offer Young Filmmakers an Unforgettable Opportunity

Samantha Janazzo (February 01, 2017)
Recognized for their Marvel blockbusters and popular TV show "Arrested Development," the Russo Brothers credit their success to the support of their parents, and their Italian-American roots. To provide new opportunities in the film industry, the two brothers have joined with NIAF and ISDA to award $7,500 for rising filmmakers to produce new documentaries defining Italian culture in the United States.

Known for their work directing the Hollywood blockbusters Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War along with the TV sensation Arrested Development, the Russo Brothers, Anthony and Joe, are offering young filmmakers an incredible opportunity.

$7,500 will be awarded to ambitious filmmakers to create a documentary based on the Italian American experience. The new program is known as The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum and is working in conjunction with the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and the Italian Sons and Daughters of America (ISDA). Together they are granting filmmakers of all nationalities the freedom to provide what they believe captures the essence of the Italian-American experience. The initiative is a campaign for the Italian American film industry through different perspectives. Applicants must send their material in February, the Russo brothers will next narrow those down and select the finalists who will receive the grant to create the documentary. Winners will be announced at NIAF's 2017 Gala. 

In a press conference at NIAF’s 2016 Gala, Anthony and Joe Russo spoke about how their first documentary was completed on a budget less than $10,000. Owing a lot of their success to the consistant encouragemnet of their parents and their Italian heritage, the two have developed an opportunity that promotes an Italo-Americano premise while giving free creative range to aspiring filmmakers. 

Both ISDA and NIAF share identical ideology as the Russo brothers: empowering the creative arts to enrich the Italian American community while embracing the ambition of the young creative mind. This provides special educational opportunities while spreading a culture that is deeply rooted in family. The brothers speak volumes to the support of the parents and friends in achieving their dream, they have created The Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum to spread the power of community, an innate aspect to being Italian-American.

John Viola, the president of NIAF, speaks highly about the collaboration with ISDA and the honor of working with the Russo brothers. He states the integral mission of NIAF to educate young Italian Americans while embracing the arts. Basil M. Russo, president and founder of ISDA and the father of Anthony and Joe, has commented his highest regards for allowing this unique opportunity to preserve heritage while honoring the mark of the Italian community on this great nation. 

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to preserving the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit





Select one to show comments and join the conversation