Matthew White’s wonderful documentary House of Stronzo Premieres at the New Jersey International Film Festival on Saturday, June 8, 2019!
Here is my interview with Matt:
Nigrin: Your wonderful documentary House of Stronzo chronicles the quest of Pete Cecere, one of the preeminent collectors of folk art and outsider art in North America, to find permanent homes for the more than 5,000 pieces of original art that he stores inside his Virginia home. Please tell us more about your film and how you came to make it?
White: "I met Pete through a friend of the family, and after meeting him for the first time, I said I had to make a documentary about him. I get a buzz from telling stories with visuals and sound, and Pete makes a great story."
Nigrin: Pete is such a magnanimous guy. Was it easy to work with him?
White: Pete Cecere is one of those personalities who you only meet people like him a couple times in your life, and I meet a lot of people in my career. Pete is the type of guy who is entertaining. I told Pete, nobody talks like you, you're one of kind.
Nigrin: How long did it take to make this film and how did you secure the funding for it?
White: The documentary took 4 years to complete from filming to editing. Of course, patience and endurance are the key traits that make it possible to finish a documentary, or any creative endeavor. Passion about telling a story is why you make a documentary, but it's patience and endurance that gets it completed. These projects take a long time to make.
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Nigrin: What has been the reaction from audiences to your film so far?
White: It is wonderful to hear the audience reacting to the documentary, there was a lot of laughing along with Pete's way of storytelling.
Nigrin: Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you would like to relay to our readers?
White: I spent 7 days filming at Pete's house. We could film all day and night, except between 6:30-9:00 p.m. Pete had to watch the national news and The Sopranos every evening. I stayed at his house throughout filming, and was able to really get to know Pete in depth.
Three intriguing experimental films will House of Stronzo. Here is more info on the screening:
Beast – Natalie Peracchio (Los Angeles, California) When a destructive force comes between two sisters, it threatens their relationship and their lives. 2018; 7 min.
Mother – Ewan Gotfryd (Los Angeles, California) Mother is an experimental short film that pays homage to Maya Deren, one of the most influential avant-garde filmmakers of the twentieth century. Featuring a dream-like narrative about a woman trapped within a fantasy and confronted by her inner fears. 2019 10 min.
Dark Deco – Matt Deblinger (Miami, Florida) Candace and Ben's relationship unravels after Ben becomes addicted to the Deco, a virtual-reality device with mysterious simulation capabilities. While vising Candace's grieving family for dinner, the estranged couple discovers that Ben is not the only one who is absorbed by this new technology. . . 2019; 12 min.
House of Stronzo – Matthew White (Pittsford, New York)
House of Stronzo chronicles the quest of Pete Cecere, one of the preeminent collectors of folk art and outsider art in North America, to find permanent homes for the more than 5,000 pieces of original art that he stores inside his Virginia home. Pete thinks his art is the star of the film. But it is his overwhelming passion for collecting more and more stuff that actually steals the show. 2018; 58 min.
Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 5:00 PM
in Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey
$12=General; $10=Students+Seniors; $9=Rutgers Film Co-op Friends
Information: (848) 932-8482; www.njfilmfest.com