Calandra’s Catalina Santamaría’s Squatters Film Festival Official Selection

Catalina Santamaria at Cali Film Festival 2021
At the FICCALI November 2021.

Squatters, a new feature documentary by Catalina Santamaría, the Calandra Institute’s producer for Italics, was named “Official Selection” at two film festivals in Colombia: MIDBO 23 (International Documentary Encounter Film Festival), and FICCALI (Cali International Film Festival).

At the end of the 1980s, two abandoned buildings in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhoods of the “truquito” and the “maroma” were occupied by a group of young artists, mostly immigrants, who renovated them and turned them into self-sustainable homes outside the boundaries of the law. Santamaría gathers records from multiple sources to chronicle the transformation of Puerta 10 and Umbrella House based on the stories of their singular protagonists. Part of the material in this documentary comes from video recorded by them during the renovation of the buildings in order to document a community that built these houses by hand in order to inhabit them in their own way. This film pays homage to that desire by showing some of the difficulties that come with being a collective utopia, including fragility in the face of time and the looming threat of the system.

Click here to see the trailer for Squatters.

Tre Donne: Kitty Genovese, Diane di Prima, Virginia Apuzzo, and the Roots of Italian American Feminism in 1960s New York

Award-winning historian Marcia Gallo (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) will discuss the lives and times of three barrier-breaking women of the sixties: Kitty Genovese, Diane di Prima, Virginia Apuzzo. Gallo’s Brooklyn- and Bronx-born subjects present a novel perspective on women’s oppression and liberation in the decade. Genovese became a national symbol of urban apathy after her murder in 1964 at age twenty-eight in Kew Gardens, Queens. Di Prima helped launch the Beat literary movement and remains a prolific feminist poet, playwright, memoirist, and activist. Apuzzo, a former nun and pioneer gay rights and AIDS activist, led the National LGBTQ Task Force and headed state and federal commissions on labor and consumer affairs. Cosponsored by the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of New York, and Baruch College History Club. For more information, call (646) 312-4334.