A message from Laura Nespola, Producer
In our first screenings, audiences have told us that our protagonists, the Osso brothers, remind them of their own immigrant pasts, and of their grandparents’ and parents’ journeys. At a time when immigrants are facing renewed struggles, it’s gratifying to see a film like Pizza Shop celebrate people who have helped build the backbone of America.
Producer, Pizza Shop: An Italian-American Dream
PIZZA SHOP introduces us to Charlie and Fred Osso, immigrant brothers from Calabria, Italy, who have run a wildly successful pizzeria and restaurant in a strip mall in northern New Jersey for nearly forty years.
Retirement is a dirty word to these workhorses: Charlie is serious and detail-oriented, with a short fuse and a soft center, while Fred is light-hearted and easy-going, a passionate chef and bon vivant. Growing up poor in post-war southern Italy, they could have never imagined how their lives would unfold, the challenges they’d face and the opportunities that awaited them.
Now in their seventies, they’re facing a forced relocation, construction of a new restaurant, their sons’ attempts to update the management style, and encroaching old age.
With humor, poignancy, and compassion, filmmaker Antony Osso (Charlie’s son) explores how a Mom-and-Pop Shop can be a vital hub for a community, the sacrifices parents make for their children, and what it means for immigrants when they fulfill the American dream.