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NY Premiere of “Stonebreakers” at Brooklyn Film Festival

June 3, 6 pm7:45 pm.

Awen Films and NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò present the New York premiere of the documentary feature  “Stonebreakers” (2022), directed by Valerio Ciriaci. The screening will take place at the Brooklyn Film Festival on Saturday, June 3 at 6:00 pm at Windmill Studio (300 Kingsland Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222). The film will also be available June 2-11 on the festivals streaming platform.

“Stonebreakers” chronicles the conflicts around monuments that arose in the  United States during the George Floyd protests and the 2020 presidential election. As statues of Columbus, Confederates and Founding Fathers fall from their pedestals, the country’s triumphalist myths are called into question. Exploring the  shifting landscapes of American monumentality, the film interrogates the link  between history and political action in a nation that must confront its past now  more urgently than ever.

The film features key scenes filmed in New York City, including protests and commentary  surrounding the Christopher Columbus monument in Columbus Circle. Other locations include in Philadelphia, Syracuse, Mount Rushmore and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, and the U.S.-Arizona border, among others. Interviews on location with activists, scholars, and artists provide site-specific context.

“Reckoning with the past does not mean fixing it in a monument, but taking on the  continuous work of challenging, reclaiming, and actualizing it,” says director Valerio Ciriaci.  “We hope this film can help us imagine a public square that doesn’t revolve around powerful men on pedestals, but is built instead on a vision of history from the ground up, in which we’re both spectators and critical participants.”

The screening will be followed by an in-person Q&A with Ciriaci, Isaak  Liptzin (Producer/Cinematographer), and Curtis Caesar John (Producer) in dialogue with guest speakers from Indigenous and Italian American communities.

Recognized with an honorable mention and the audience award upon its world premiere at Festival dei Popoli in Florence, Italy, “Stonebreakers” had its U.S. premiere at Independent  Film Festival Boston in April. “Stonebreakers” was produced independently by Awen Films with support from Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò at NYU.

Awen Films is a New York-based non-fiction production house co-founded by Valerio  Ciriaci and Isaak Liptzin. Their previous documentaries have been screened at leading  international film festivals and preeminent academic institutions.