The seeds for this documentary project were planted toward the end of 2005 and beginning of 2006. During this time discussions were undertaken on how to continue the religious procession of Our Lady of Casandrino in light of the attrition of the Italian immigrants' children and grandchildren departing Chambersburg for suburban life. The result of this exodus was a decrease in the number of organizers of, and participants in the procession. It was then I recognized the need to document and preserve the history and story of the procession which had been an important part of so many Chambersburg lives for over 100 years.
During 2005 I wrote a story narration and in mid 2006 using digital tape, shot my 15 year old daughter Natalie, narrating and interviewing various clergy and procession participants. At the same time I began formal project research utilizing newspaper articles, old photos, video and film, some dating back over 100 years. Those tapes sat idle for 3 years. During 2009 Mr. David Bannister, CEO of Shore View Media, crossed my path and upon casually mentioning the documentary and tapes, Dave made an immediate and personal commitment to perform post-production on what had been shot 3 years earlier. Utilizing the advanced editing equipment in the Shore View Media studio, and the creative talents of David Bannister, we shot interviews with additional individuals. The result was a 9 minute promotion DVD that was sent out to PBS, CPB and other stations and outlets in the hopes of attracting funds.
The year 2010 brought further project advancements with the development by Shore View Media of a web site www.thefeastoflights.com and creation of an extended 30 minute promotion DVD that was shown continuously at the September 2010 Mercer County Italian American Festival. Brochures were handed out and the promotion DVD sold at the booth. The final documentary project will be a 90 -120 minute production containing additional footage of past processions, photographs, articles, stories and interviews.
I sincerely thank everyone who has supported this project to date with their family photos, films, stories and on camera interviews. Without you there would be no documentary preservation project.
Thank you, Joseph Pica Executive Producer