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Palisades Park Filmmaker Focuses Camera On Iconic Family Pizzeria

“Pizza Shop: An Italian-American Dream” will screen in Westwood on Jan. 21.
“Pizza Shop: An Italian-American Dream” will screen in Westwood on Jan. 21. Photo Credit: Facebook: Pizza Shop: An Italian-American Dream

CLOSTER, N.J. – Rudy’s Ristorante has been a Closter institution for more than 50 years. And now patrons can see the pizzeria on the big screen.

Antony Osso has chronicled his family’s immigrant experience and their decades of owning the beloved restaurant in “Pizza Shop: An Italian-American Dream.”

“When I first started making the film, my intention was to celebrate a community institution: my father and uncle’s pizzeria, which has been feeding families for decades,” said Osso, who grew up in Palisades Park and now lives in Manhattan.

“But when I looked at the footage more closely, I found an immigrant experience marked by isolation, sacrifice, and courage, and a success borne of hard work, discipline, and optimism. I saw the American Dream realized. It’s an honor to share a story celebrating the immigrants who are the backbone of America.”

The hour-long film explores brothers Charlie and Fred Osso’s emigration from poverty-stricken southern Italy in the early 1960s, the journey from odd jobs to owning a successful restaurant, and the inner workings that lead to their loved pizza and Italian food.

The documentary premiered at the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, and is an official selection of the Ojai Film Festival and the St. Louis International Film Festival.

On Sunday, Jan. 21, at 3:30 p.m., Osso will hold a special free screening for the community that has supported Rudy’s Ristorante & Pizza for so long.

The screening will take place at Westwood Cinemas, 182 Center Ave., in Westwood. The event will also feature a Q&A with Charlie and Fred Ossso, as a well as Antony Osso. Seating is first come, first served, and admission is free.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the documentary, and CLICK HERE for more on the special screening.

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