Yesterday was an amazing amazing Thanksgiving–not because of the spectacular weather day it turned out to be in Sarasota, FL,; not because of the wonderful friends who enjoyed the day with us; and not because of the scrumptious meal I created (if I do say so myself!)–but because of the scenario that was simultaneously playing itself out in Torino, Italy.
Le me explain. On Tuesday my Facebook friend, Brandy Burre (actress extraordinaire and a lead in the hit TV series “The Wire” a few years back and currently the star in the highly acclaimed documentary “Actress”) posted on Facebook that she was in Torino, Italy, for the Italian screening of the film that she and director Robert Greene created. So, why do you ask, does this have anything to do with me at all? Well, for two reasons.
Brandy and I became FB friends last April when Brandy and her boyfriend, Chris Bowen, came to Sarasota for the screening of the film at the Sarasota Film Festival. Alan and I have served as volunteer drivers at the festival for two years and I was assigned to pick up Brandy and Chris at the airport. At the time, I didn’t know who Brandy was (not having been a devotee of “The Wire”), and was simply told that she ‘was famous.’ So the night prior to the pickup I did my homework and found out just who Brandy Burre was and what this movie was all about. And I also learned that she was on Facebook too. I brazenly asked her to be my friend! She immediately accepted and the next day when I brandished my little sign ‘Brandy Burre’ at the airport, she said, “Are you my new Facebook friend?” And thus began a whirlwind few days of driving her around Sarasota, film screenings, a new friendship, and fun. After they departed Sarasota we stayed in touch and even tried to get together when the film screened at the Nantucket Film Festival while we were on Martha’s Vineyard.
Italy and particularly, Torino, Italy, have a special meaning for us. Alan and I have dual citizenship and have become Italian citizens. We would love to be able to live there at some point. My very special Italian cousin, Piera, lives in Torino, and we have spent many wonderful days with Piera in Torino and elsewhere in Italy. Piera is very important to all of her American cousins–my extended family.
I knew when I read that Brandy was in Torino that I had to do something to make Piera aware of it and see if I could make a meeting happen. I wrote a few comments to Brandy on her post: Brandy and Chris, you are in Torino!!!!! I am going to tell my cousin Piera to see the movie. And Brandy responded: Please do. I would love to meet them.
And, of course, I immediately sent an email to Piera: Piera, I’ve just learned that an American movie is playing at Cinema Reposi in Torino. It is called “Actress.” We saw this movie in Sarasota last spring at the Sarasota Film Festival. Brandy Burre is the actress and she was a lead in the television series called “The Wire” a few years back. Alan and I became friends with Brandy when they were here. Both Brandy and her boyfriend, Chris Bowen, are in Torino now for the showing of the movie!!! I wrote a message to her on Facebook to tell her that my cousin lived in Torino. If there is any way for you to see the film, I hope you do. And definitely talk to Brandy and tell her you are my cousin!!!!! Yay!!!! I’ll write again soon. Annie
After several messages back and forth between Brandy and me and also between Piera and me, while getting the day and time correct for the screening, I was hoping upon hope that a meeting would take place and that Piera could see the film. All of this would be happening on Thanksgiving Day. So in the midst of cooking and preparing our Thanksgiving feast and watching the clock and wondering what might be transpiring in Torino, I was delighted to finally receive this email at 12:04 pm (our time) from Piera: Mission……accomplished!!! Brandy and I met today at 2 pm! She was waiting for me outside the cinema, together with Chris, at the end of the screening. It began at 12:00. I got there a little late but I could see most of it. It is a very good movie. I thought that it could be her true story. I liked it and so did a couple of friends of mine there who went to see it too. It’s a kind of move shot in a ‘direct’ way, natural, not done in studios–what we call in Italy ‘realistic’ movies. Very award in the style. She is a very good actress, she acts natural. I told her. It has been so nice to meet; she’s so pretty and natural; I like her so much. She told me how she met you at another film festival in Sarasota. I left her my name, email address, and mobile phone number, telling her she now has a reference here in Torino. She told me to activate the contact with her on Facebook. By the way, I just sent you a request of ‘friendship’ to YOU! Annie, you are always such a lively person, a volcano of energy! Thank you for letting me meet such a nice person. Love to you and Alan! Greetings from 32 TFF–Torino Film Festival. Ciaoooooo!!!! Piera
Don’t you just love how Piera expresses herself in English? You should hear her in Italian! She doesn’t stop! She’s the energetic one. I never quite thought of myself as a volcano of energy–but I’ll take it. We have so much fun with her. I could only anticipate that what I was hoping would occur would be a special meeting between two rather unique individuals. And from a continent away–thanks to social media and the wonders of Facebook–I made it happen! Score one again for Facebook!