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KUED to Broadcast Special on Italian Americans in 2006

Many Italian familys populated Carbon county in it's early years, like the Olivetto family who started out in business in the East Carbon area.

A new documentary film entitled "Our Story, Italian-Americans In Utah" is in the process of being developed in Utah.

The project is being sponsored by the Italian Cultural Center of Utah, the Italian Vice-Consul of Utah, The American West Center, the University of Utah Marriott Library and the public television station, KUED. Also working in conjunction with this group is Stella D'America Lodge of Helper, an affiliate of the Columbian Federation of Italian-American Societies.

The project director is Joanne Furano Milner, an award-winning community advocate. The documentary will be produced and written by James Nelson and the photographer is Jerry Carter. The promotion, marketing, broadcasting and distribution will be provided by KUED, Channel 7 in Utah.

The one-hour documentary will chronicle five periods in the immigration of Italians to Utah: Mormon settlers, 1854-1870; Miners and Railroad Workers, 1890-1929; Immigration in the 1930's and 1940's; Italian internment during World War II and post war adjustment, 1940-1959; and Recent Immigration, 1960-present.

Scheduled for completion in 2006, the documentary will be distributed not only in Utah, but also throughout the United States and Italy. DVD technology will allow the program to be viewed in either English or Italian.

With the 2002 Winter Olympic Games having been staged in Salt Lake City and the 2006 games scheduled for Turino, Italy this coming February, surely the documentary will help strengthen official ties between the areas as a result of the succeeding Winter Games.

The production is estimated to cost $250,000 for completion.

The producers have already spent three days in Helper, filming and interviewing Carbon County citizens of Italian heritage. The first visit came during the annual Columbus Day dinner sponsored by the Helper lodge in the civic auditorium. The gathering provided an opportunity for the producers to interview many of the attendees at the dinner, including the mayors of Helper and Price, Joe Bonacci and Joe Piccolo, respectively.

The following two visits focused on some of the rock masonry work done throughout Helper by Italian immigrant stone masons, a visit to the Mountain View Cemetery in Helper and historical sites in the community tied to Italian immigrants.

A greater portion of one of the visits was devoted to the Italian room at the Western Mining and Railroad Museum in Helper.

According to the production team there is a good possibility that the premier showing of the documentary will take place in the Rio Theater in Helper.

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