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Support "My Place at the Table (Il Mio Posto a Tavola)"
a new documentary short film from
Marabella Enterprises and Schott Productions

IL MIO POSTO A TAVOLA (MY PLACE AT THE TABLE)... SAVE YOUR SEAT!

by Marabella Enterprises, LLC

This campaign is to raise funding to support the production of Il Mio Posto a Tavola, a documentary film exploring one man's adoption story that illuminates the universal need to belong. Your contribution is tax-deductible!



 

 Il Mio Posto a Tavola (My Place at the Table)!

... An Adoption Story

a new documentary film from

Marabella Enterprises and Schott Productions

 

Background about the Film

Logline

Rescued as a baby from an orphanage and adopted by his Italian-American parents, a filmmaker returns to Aosta, Italy, a lifetime later to reconcile the feelings that have stopped him from finding his seat at the table. 

Synopsis

Il Mio Posto a Tavola (My Place at the Table) is a short, documentary film which examines the universal need to belong. The bulk of the film takes place around the dinner table where all of life’s important moments happen, for Italians in both Italy and the United States.  It is seen through the heart of the filmmaker, who was born in a Catholic orphanage in Aosta, Italy, and adopted by Italian-American parents two weeks before his first birthday and became their only child. Though he was treasured by his adoptive parents, he was bullied by his peers and struggled from an early age to fit in and connect with others. Growing up, the realization that he was gay further deepened this isolation, straining his relationship with the Church to which he was so dedicated and the parents he so loved. Though stoked by self-doubt and fear, he refused to be stopped. He tried harder and achieved more, carving out a life as a caregiver, educator, writer and artist. Returning to his birthplace, he seeks to find his place at the table.

Why It Matters

A Critical Problem

According to the US Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, the United States is experiencing what he considers to be an epidemic of loneliness.  In his advisory, Dr. Murthy warns that loneliness is "associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death."  He talks of the far reaching adverse effects of loneliness that impacts many aspects of society - at work, school and in the community.  

In the extreme, we know that loneliness can lead to such isolation and despair that suicide becomes the only solution - a solution that a growing number of people are choosing, as a recent study by Colorado University Boulder reports.

Addressing the Problem

We see a cause of loneliness coming from a pervasive feeling of not belonging, not feeling a part of something beyond ourselves - whether that is a family, a community or society in general. For whatever reason a person feels separate, they become by choice or circumstance, more isolated. With isolation that is not addressed through interventions such as talk therapy, self-help or group support, that isolation becomes loneliness. It is in that place where desperation and lack of hope can bring people to consider self-harm or suicide, with many succeeding as we have seen from the data presented above.

We are going to produce and distribute a documentary film that looks at the social challenges adoptive children experience. We will explore the abandonment and isolation that can result from even the best adoptions. We understand the incredible complexity and vastness of this social condition, and we have no delusions that our film can solve it. We do believe, because we have experienced from our past projects, that film and documentary film, specifically, can tell a story that raises awareness about mental health and de-stigmatizes getting help in ways that engage without judgement or shame.

Our story will be a first-person documentary that presents the adoption and the family dynamics that accompany it, along with the personal struggles of an adult who believes his adoption was a tremendous gift, yet also his greatest hurdle to finding personal contentment.

Santo D. Marabella will tell his story, and as we travel to Italy, his American and Italian families will connect the first time, around the Italian table. The journey is Santo's way of finding his seat at the table, a place that for most of his adult life has been elusive.

Meet the Filmmakers

Santo D. Marabella, Executive Producer/Film Subject

Santo D. Marabella, MBA, DSW, The Practical Prof® and the 2018 Reading Eagle Entertainment Newsmaker of the Year, is an author, playwright, filmmaker, speaker and educator with writing, directing and producing credits for books, television pilots, a musical, short films and plays. He was a producer of This Is Reading by Lynn Nottage. He co-founded and executive produced ReadingFilmFEST (2015-2017), and co-founded and served as ReadingFilm Commissioner (2006-2018). Current projects include: executive producer, Il Mio Posto a Tavolo (My Seat at the Table), documentary film (2025); writer/director, Rocky Road Ain’t Always Sweet, play (May 2024). Other recent projects include: producer, “Ava” feature film (2023); and, producer, “Flashlight” feature film (2023); director/co-producer, workshop for “Love Is Afoot!”, an original musical (2023); producer, “Take Five on 5th” visual arts show (2023); writer/producer/director, “The Caregiver”, short film (2022). Marabella, Professor Emeritus of Management, Moravian University, is a member of The Lambs®, The Dramatists Guild of America and Theatre Communications Group. More information can be found at Marabella Enterprises. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Villanova University; an MBA from St. Joseph's University; and, a doctorate in social work from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Tracy Schott, Director/Producer

Tracy Schott has more than 25 years of experience creating films, and content for television, events, and the web. Tracy is a Producer/Director and owner of Schott Productions where she has created hundreds of projects for clients and the community, directed the documentary films FROM THE RIVER (2023) and FINDING JENN’S VOICE (2015), and produced DUST NUGGETS (2019), TRAFFIC OPERA (2017), and LOCATION! LOCATION! (2010). Tracy also directed the Emmy-nominated reality TV show DREAM WEDDINGS (2011-2014), and the TV pilot FRANKLIN STREET STATION (2018). Tracy is the co-writer of LE BON CHEF, an award-winning screenplay.  She has Masters’ degrees in Telecommunications and Social Work. Her focus on community and social issues drives much of her work, including suicide prevention and mental health awareness. Following the release of FINDING JENN’S VOICE, she established Voices4Change to bring support and awareness of the issues associated with intimate partner violence and homicide via an online platform (voices4change.net).  Tony Gerber is an Emmy and PGA award-winning filmmaker.  

Tony Gerber, Consulting Producer 

Tony Gerber is an Emmy and PGA award-winning filmmaker. Gerber has written, directed and produced over a dozen documentaries for National Geographic, including Kingdom of the White Wolf, a 3-part natural history series filmed on location in the Canadian High Arctic (Disney+). He is a producer of the critically acclaimed, award-winning film Jane about the life and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. His independent films include Full Battle Rattle (Berlinale premiere and SXSW Special Jury Prize) and The Notorious Mr. Bout (Sundance, 2014). Gerber has collaborated with artists Matthew Barney, Allora & Calzadilla, and Ann Sofi Siden (on various film projects.) In 2005, he co-founded the NY-based production company, Market Road Films, with two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. Nottage and Gerber are writing a feature film, Everlasting Yea! for Amazon Studios (which they will co-direct) and are Executive Producing Deep South, a 10-part podcast for Stitcher investigating an 1950s lynching and the conspiracy of silence in a small southern town.

Red Sled Films, Italian Executive Producer

Red Sled Films is our Italian executive production company.  Created by six film professionals working in  the International film industry, it aims to highlight talent, both local and international, giving a platform for young and old voices to be seen and a voice to showcase Valle d’Aosta, the Northern Italian region with many resources and opportunities for film production and also the birthplace of Marabella, our documentary subject. Red Sled will be our local production resource. They will provide access to local crew, renting production equipment, assisting with scouting locations, and providing transportation where necessary. From the Red Sled team, Alessia Gasparella, will be our line producer and Giorgio Vigna, will be our location manager.

Sebastian Nieves, Director of Photography

A few things have been present in Sebastian’s filmmaking from the very beginning: his Colombian roots, his loyalty to family, and the curiosity that drives him to find meaning in every image. He believes that living a rich and deliberate life leads to good work, and that a camera can be an instrument of God’s love. Sebastian considers himself a director’s DP - he asks the important questions to make sure every shot serves the overall vision. This philosophy has given him the opportunity to work with cinematographers like Bradford Young, to shoot commercial films for brands such as Audi, LG, Amika, Footlocker, Blue Cross, BMW, PUMA, AMEX, Players Tribune, and Shangri-La Hotels, and to film the Bleacher Report web series Untold Stories.  SebastianNieves.com

R. Bradley Bass, Editor

Brad Bass is first and foremost a storyteller, with more than 25 years experience behind the edit desk. From Emmy-nominated reality show Dream Weddings to award-winning feature documentary Finding Jenn’s Voice, Brad has contributed to the success of projects of all sizes while working with a wealth of local and national production talent.

Save Your Seat!  Contribute Today!

We invite you to support the making and distribution of our film. Every donation is tax-deductible (see limitations and details in our FAQ on this page), and you will receive a receipt for your donation sent by From The Heart Productions, our fiscal sponsor.  All contributions will be used to support the production, post-production, marketing and distribution, including travel to Italy where most of the filming will be done.  

There are six contribution levels.  Each level comes with its own incentives and rewards.  For contributions greater than $5,000.00, please email Marabella Enterprises Email.   

Contribution Levels and Incentives

We will gratefully acknowledge your contribution with a screen credit and the following incentives/rewards:

Seats at the Table

$10 to $99: Il Sgabello (The Stool)

Screen Credit

$100 to $499: Il Posto (The Seat)

Invitation to a Private Premiere Screening in Reading, PA + Screen Credit

$500 to $999:  Il Posto Buono (The Good Seat)

Invitation to a Pre-Premiere Focus Group Screening (in Reading, PA or via Zoom) + Rewards above

$1000 to $2499:  Il Posto Bello (The Beautiful Seat)

Invitation to the Black Tie Premiere Reception & Screening + Rewards above

$2500 to $4999: Il Posto Migliore (The Best Seat)

Acknowledged at all Screenings + Rewards above

$5000:  Il Posto di Tutti Posti (The Seat of All Seats)

Special Screen Credit as "Associate Producer" + Rewards above

 

Your Contribution is Tax-Deductible!

The receipt you receive will say that you donated to:  From The Heart Productions.  They are our fiscal sponsor.  Your contribution is considered a tax-deductible, charitable contribution.  We hope you will "Save Your Seat" at our table!  Thank you!

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