The mob movie stars Paul Sorvino and is shot throughout Williamsburg by a Williamsburg native — Bamonte’s, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, and the Giglio Festival are all featured. It premieres August 5th at Cinema Village:
The flick, which follows a bank official from Williamsburg with ties to a local organized crime family, features scenes set during the 113-year-old Italian-American festival, and to get the right look, filmmakers went right to the source, said the film’s producer.
“We took scenes from the actual feast,” said Michael Ricigliano Jr., who also wrote “The Brooklyn Banker.” “All of the guys in movie are guys who lift the actual Giglio tower every year.”
The mob movie was filmed entirely in Williamsburg, featuring scenes shot inside and outside Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and local figures such as the members of the brass band of the Giglio feast. The participants are overjoyed that a piece of their rich culture has been captured on film, said a Giglio festival spokeswoman.
“They’re all excited — they’re proud. It’s going to show a lot of really beautiful things about their neighborhood and their culture and their family ties,” said Carolyn Stone. “They’re all excited about it.”
The flick is set in the 1970s, and the production scared up vintage duds for the actors, including the same outfits worn by Giglio lifters in 1973, said Ricigliano. The costumes brought back happy memories for the marchers, according to Stone.
“I think for a lot of them it’s also a happy memory. Some have been there such long time – to see something set in ’70s, it’s sort of like a trip down memory lane for them,” she said.
Ricigliano’s family grew up in the Williamsburg neighborhood, and his uncle used to be a priest at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. He wrote the film based on stories that his father shared with him about living in the neighborhood. Modern-day audiences will be able to relate to the film, he said, because — though it is set in the 1970s — many of the concerns are the same.
“I have a scene where the main characters talk about the neighborhood, the tradition, and how things are changing,” said Ricigliano Jr. “Kind of like now with the gentrification in Williamsburg, and how people are holding on. It has mob influences in it, but it’s more about [the banker’s] loyalties, and a lot about the neighborhood.”