The Festival: Films


Monday, October 18
6:00 pm

Istituto Italiano di Cultura
1023 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, 90024
Exhibition Opening, Film Screening, Reception and music

2005; 60 min.The first visual documentation of the Watts Towers Arts Center, adjacent to Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers, a creative hub in Los Angeles’ Watts community which has nurtured young and established artists in all mediums. A former owner of The Rodia Towers (William Cartwright), five former Directors of the Arts Center, including Noah Purifoy and John Outterbridge, Curator Emeritus Cecil Fergerson, and other visual and literary artists and community members reveal the dynamic history of the Arts Center’s first 40-plus years. Hosted by Congresswoman, Maxine Waters. Executive Producer: Rosie Lee Hooks. Writer and Director: S. Pearl Sharp. Produced for the Dept. of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles’ Channel 35.
Includes Q & A with Rosie Lee Hooks and S. Pearl Sharp, reception and Trio Paganini in concert.



Saturday, October 23
6:00 pm

Istituto Italiano di Cultura
1023 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, 90024
Film Screening, Exhibition, Reception

2006; 86 minutes. Q & A with filmmakers, Edward Landler and Brad Byer, along with members of Rodia’s family, Virginia and Leonard Sullivan, Mary Lou Byer (present for this showing only).
Followed by reception and viewing of SABATO RODIA’S TOWERS IN WATTS exhibition.

A comprehensive documentary film on the life and work of Sam Rodia. Made with exclusive access to Rodia’s family, the cooperation of the Watts community and the town of Serino (prov. of Avellino, Italy), the film reveals how Rodia single-handedly fashioned these monumental mosaic-covered spires of reinforced cement on his property in South Central Los Angeles. Once condemned to demolition, the Watts Towers survive today as an embodiment of natural structural principles and as a symbol of freedom and initiative for the community of Watts and beyond. Written, directed and produced by Edward Landler and Brad Byer. More information on the film's website.



Sunday, October 24
4:00 pm

Watts Labor Community Action Committee
10950 South Central Ave., Los Angeles, 90059
(Part of Day in Watts Tour)

Film by Edward Landler and Brad Byer. Q & A with filmmakers. See above.


Events at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura are part of the annual Italian government-sponsored Settimana Italiana della Lingua - Italian Language Week.

All events are on a first come, first served basis. Space is limited.

Momma Watts


Sabato Rodia building the Towers