Director: Annalisa Siagura
Annalisa Siagura is a first-time filmmaker from Rome, Italy. She holds a Ph.D in Cognitive Neuroscience and works full time as a post-doc in Clinical Psychology in the Bay Area. She moved to America for her Ph.D research project in collaboration with the Psychiatry Department at the University of California San Diego.
She's always carried a deep interest in the human psyche and behavior across various cultures which inspired her to create Italians By The Bay. Her interest in filmmaking began when she was a child and often took her camera to interview people of all ages and ethnicities to hear their stories. Her love for storytelling and compassion for human beings directly carried over into her educational pursuits of learning about the human mind and condition.
In 2015 she was elected by the Italian community in the Bay Area to represent them at the Comites of San Francisco. In the same year she embarked on her first film to create a documentary about Italian immigrants.
After 3 years Annalisa completed her first film, Italians By The Bay, with the intention of creating a discussion of current Italian immigrants and their history while emphasizing the importance of unity across all groups of people and cultures.
Besides showing the film domestically in America, Annalisa plans to show the film back in her home country of Italy and Europe with the intention of building bridges to help understand different cultures, inspire compassion, and educate others on welcoming diversity amongst all walks of life.
Four years ago I realized I had to make Italians By The Bay. As a first time filmmaker, I had
done my research and learned about Italian immigrants around the world. Being one myself, I
still felt in my heart that the stories of my people should be known to a wider audience. With the
current political climate and current events of Italy and the United States, I strongly believe
immigrant stories are more important than ever.
Italian has been deemed the fastest dying language in the United States. I wanted to show the
lush history and vibrant personalities of Italian immigrants that have touched the fabric and help
build what the Bay Area is today. Italian immigrants have one of the richest histories in the San
Francisco Bay Area and it is important that the realities of our subjects searching for a better life
in today’s society mirrors much of their former ancestors in the past.
Our film weaves together the stories of Italians here who have pursued their dream and taken
chances that may not have been possible for them back in their home country. The Italian spirit
fully shines as our subjects takes us through their reasons for a new life in America, the difficulty
of uprooting their lives and starting anew.
I made this film because I wanted to offer fresh insights into the lives of Italian immigrants. I
have done this by revealing their complex and inspirational stories as they create a more just
world for themselves, their families, and the people around them. Italians By The Bay offers a
new angle on immigrants, finally feeling at home after taking enormous chances to start a new
Italians By The Bay was edited from 60 hours of original footage shot across the Bay Area over
a year. This film was made possible by the generous financial support of the Italian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the support of Comites San Francisco.
As part of my commitment to create opportunities for immigrants living in the Bay Area. Italians
By The Bay will be sent to universities and Italian organizations to educate people on the
importance of valuing our past generations to create a better future for all people.