Five months ago, I optioned the film rights of an Italian graphic novel called Churubusco written and drawn by Andrea Ferraris, an Italian comic artist, who worked for Disney for the past 20 years.
Churubusco is the story of Gaetano Rizzo, an Italian immigrant, son of farmers during the pre-unification of Italy, who enlists in the Union army to fight in the war against Mexico hoping that military service will grant him a piece of land to own. In this scenario carved on hostile landscapes, populated by immoral men craving for personal glory, and racist fanatics among the American troops, Rizzo, possessing an innate survival instinct, decides to defect. Whether to join the Mexicans or go his own way, that will be that hardest choice for him.
The character of Gaetano Rizzo is based on the real-life Garretson Roberts (as his name was Anglicized at Ellis Island), a U.S. soldier born in Sicily and hanged in Churubusco June 13, 1847 for desertion.
The closely intertwined history between Mexico and the United States is at the core of the story. At a time when the Mexico-US border wall has become a hotly debated topic, revisiting this briefly yet profound moment in history, told through the eyes of a seemingly impartial man, can perhaps shed some light on the humanity of past and current events.
Two months ago, I started the first phase of the project, the preparation of a SHORT FILM - a proof of concept - that will be part of a package to show to potential investors whom I will ask to produce the long form film. In order to produce the short film, I need to reach the necessary budget of $35,000 by the first week of February.
I’ve already raised $20,000 and have personally committed to this project 10K USD of my own savings. Even a small donation would help me reach my goal. I plan to use the money to have custom made period costumes, build sets, hire manpower, rent locations and equipment, etc.
All donors will of course be acknowledged in the film's credits and upon completion I will be organizing private screenings of the film in New York and Rome for everyone who contributed as a special thanks! Thank you for listening.
Few notes on me: I have a bachelor in fine arts from the The School Of Visual Arts, and on the year of my graduation I was recipient of the university award for “Best Director” with my thesis film “Sexy Jalapeños”. After graduation, I have been working as camera assistant for a number of productions both TV and Cinema (Netflix, NBC, a Woody Allen movie, etc.)