The first three episodes of Gerry Ferretti’s original dramedy series The Fontanas made its public premiere to a packed house on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at the Belfast Gastro Pub in Lindenhurst.
Writer-director Ferretti created The Fontanas based loosely on his family and living on Long Island as a third-generation Italian. The series takes a comedic look at serious struggles and traditional values of the family, carefully woven around a dark story of hidden secrets and past sins uncovered when the patriarch unexpectedly passes away.
“It was a pleasure to laugh along with the Fontanas,” said Lisa Pellitteri. “And it was refreshing to watch something well-written and not dependent on profanity.”
The Fontanas is set and filmed throughout Long Island with numerous locations in Lindenhurst. Scenes were filmed in such Lindenhurst locations as Belfast Gastro Pub, Sveglio Espresso Bar, Village Park, as well Spasso’s Pizzeria, which act as the home of the family-run business. With three episodes completed and a fourth in the can, Ferretti is planning on a seven-episode first season full of many surprises, season-ending cliffhangers, and even some surprise guests.
“Life can be very serious, but even in the worst of times there is laughter,” Ferretti says. “Especially with Italians. Every Italian wake is filled with as much laughter as tears.”
With this thinking combined with the observation that second, third, and fourth generation relationships and marriages have changed drastically over the years, The Fontanas came to life. Life, love, marriage, divorce, and a disruptive criminal element all converge into a well-paced saga filled with humor, heartache, and turmoil.
“I think everyone in attendance saw a part of themselves and their families in the characters,” said Natasha Landow. “I can’t wait to see what happens next!”
As director of the New York Long Island Film Festival (NYLIFF), Ferretti cast many of the actors he has met at the festival, now in its fifth year, as well as actors he has met and worked with in the past in Long Island Theatre, including the South Shore Theatre Experience in Lindenhurst. “We plan to do for Lindenhurst what Stallone did to Philly,” Ferretti jokes with a real hint of seriousness.
Ferretti Films partnered with The Casual Crew, a group of local college film and theatre students, for most of the filming. “The plan is to build this up and bring everyone’s career to a higher level. This cast and crew is very serious, determined, and professional, but knows how to let loose and be funny. Everyone knows we are involved in something special and we have a great team. Now it’s just a matter of getting The Fontanas into the right hands.”
“It’s going to happen!” Ferretti says with confidence.
For more information about The Fontanas, visit FerrettiFilms.com.