It all began four years ago with an observation by the late Joseph Richichi to Michael Macari, president of EVTV, a Stamford production company. At the time, Macari says, Richichi pointed out that local first-generation immigrants and World War II veterans were aging, and with their passing, also lost were their firsthand recollections.
“Joe was one of them, the son of immigrant parents and a veteran,” says Macari. “He was our friend but also someone we all looked up to. He was an attorney but never forgot where he came from, and he loved Stamford.”
Macari shared those sentiments, and credits them with what followed—a brainstorming session during which the two considered how to collect testimonials. Soon they were narrowing down a list of “movers-and-shakers and regular citizens” who could share memories that would tell the story of Stamford’s immigrant and war-effort legacy. The end result? The documentary Stamford: A Small Town Remembers to premiere in July at the Avon Theatre.
“We knew we would be taping the Greatest Generation, so naturally it [takes on] a nostalgic tone,” says Macari, “but at the end, we bring it [to what Stamford] looks like today.”
A recent viewing of the hour-long film reveals what Macari promises: a charming trip down memory lane, as shared by Stamford Historical Society historian Ron Marcus, Senator Joe Lieberman and the late Robert Rich, along with many others. Factor in a wealth of historical video and imagery, and the end result is a rich story about Stamford’s origins, its evolution from factory town to corporate center, and its constant reinvention. It is difficult to reach the credits and not feel a sense of pride. “The documentary tells you the city was built on neighborhoods and it still is. By understanding the history, you understand the pride,” says Macari.
For Macari, this sense of pride is not surprising. “My own thoughts as a first-generation Stamford boy [is that the film] says that Stamford was a city that almost invented diversity,” he says. “We’re all immigrants here. It’s what gives us the ability to say that Stamford’s story is America’s story.”
Attend the premiere debut of Stamford: A Small Town Remembers
Wednesday July 8, 2015, 7:30pm
The Avon Theatre, 272 Bedford Street
Limited preferred seating to benefit the Stamford Historical Society
For $15/Ticket; $12/general; $10/seniors; $7/Avon Members
Guests are urged to reserve general seating by calling the Avon Box Office during show times at box office at 203.967.3660 x 2
For more information, contact 203-329-1183