Communication Professor Directs Feature Film Documentary in Italy

Peter Britos, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Communication, Program Chair Multimedia Cinematic Production, was on location in Italy this summer directing a feature film documentary, Bucciano: mi familgia. The story is about a filmmaker’s journey to discover her family in Bucciano, a small commune in the Province of Benevento in the region of Campania, and why her ancestors immigrated to Connecticut over 100 years ago. In Italy, the production team shot in Rome, Bucciano, Aiola, Sant’Agata de’ Goti, Grumento Nova, Caserta and many other amazing locations in Southern Italy. The team also shot in New York and Connecticut. 

The local Italian community and politicos were intimately involved in the production, including facilitating access to shoot at Reggia di Caserta, the royal palace. Modeled after Versailles, the Palazzo Reale di Caserta was built in the 18thcentury by Charles of Bourbon and his renowned architect Luigi Vanvitelli. At Caserta, the production team interviewed Curator Ferdinando Creta in the Reggia Court Theater with its gilded, neoclassical decor. The following week they interviewed the Director of the palace, Mauro Felicori, in the administrative suite. While the palace was closed to the public, they were given access to film, including drone shots of the telescopic architectural perspectives Vanvitelli was famous for, both inside the inner courts and outside in the spectacular gardens and water displays. 

“It was my first time back in Rome since I was 16,” said Britos. “Back then my family was traveling from Izmir Turkey to Heidelberg Germany. We took a ferry to Brindisi Italy and drove up in a station wagon to Germany through Naples, Rome and Venice. So it was nostalgic being back in Rome, and thinking of what it was like for us back then in the 1970s, versus being here to film decades later with a crew and digital cameras. One similarity is that I was carrying cameras around even back then, as my dad had a 35mm SLR camera, and an 8mm motion picture camera I was tasked with hauling around. Another similarity was that the Colosseum, which opened in 80 AD, still looked the same.”

Photo caption: The film crew with the locals on the last day of their shoot in Bucciano. Britos is on the right with the black t-shirt with HPU logo.