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Antonino Pasquale D'Ambrosio (born June 23, 1971), is an Italian-American author, filmmaker, producer, and visual artist. D'Ambrosio's feature film Let Fury Have the Hour was an Official Selection of the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival featured in the festival's Spotlight section where the high-profile films screen. The New York Times describes the film as “An exuberant, mixed-media collage –indeed, a thoughtful and entertaining debut film.” Selected as one of the 10 Best Films of Tribeca Film Festival by Time Out New York's Joshua Rothkopf who wrote: "A thrillingly articulate wallop of ’80s-era rage, Antonino D’Ambrosio’s color-tinted political collage is about a crucial subject made visual." D'Ambrosio is the founder and executive director of the independent media and production non-profit La Lutta NMC, Inc., based in New York. His current book the newly revised and expanded Let Fury Have the Hour: Joe Strummer, Punk and the Movement that Shook the World. In 2010, he collaborated with artist Shepard Fairey on a book titled Mayday. Recently, D'Ambrosio Artist-In-Residence at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he launched the multimedia visual arts series La Terra Promessa. D'Ambrosio has also been honored as New York University’s Gallatin Lecturer, an honor bestowed upon a contemporary artist creating innovative and social engaging work. Acclaimed filmmaker Jim Jarmusch describes D'Ambrosio newest work A Heartbeat and A Guitar as “truly fascinating journey, charting the historical and social context of a courageous musical statement by one of our greatest rebel voices.” The late historian Howard Zinn describes the book as “an important contribution to the cultural history of our time.”. Iconic musician Pete Seeger calls the book "a rare work that is beautiful and inspiring”.
In 2012, Basic Books/Nation Books released D'Ambrosio's Let Fury Have the Hour: Joe Strummer, Punk and the Movement that Shook the World, which includes 10 new essays and 40 original photographs by D'Ambrosio. The book is a companion to the feature film Let Fury Have the Hour, produced, written and directed by D'Amborosio.
In 2011, D'Ambrosio's acclaimed book A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears. was released in paperback legendary folk musician Pete Seeger describes the book as "a rare work that is beautiful and moving."A Heartbeat and a Guitar was chosen by The Philadelphia Inquirer as a "2009 Book of Note,",The Progressive "Favorite Book",The Boston Globe, among others.
In 2010, D'Ambrosio collaborated with artist Shepard Fairey and Jeffrey Deitch on the book Mayday.
Both his current film and book feature original cover art from Shepard Fairey. Chuck D of Public Enemy has described D'Ambrosio as "the voice of a new generation -- passionate, intelligent and fierce -- whose work educates and inspires." He is also the editor and author of Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer, which was selected by PBS as one of the top non-fiction books of 2005 and by Barnes & Noble as "Favorite Book." D'Ambrosio contributes to The Nation, The Progressive, The Believer, Salon.com, The Rumpus, and among many others.
Film and video
D'Ambrosio has produced more than 15 documentaries, films, videos, and visual art pieces. His recent film includes No Free Lunch starring Lewis Black. The film has been screened around the world. In September 2008, it received a notice of cultural distinction in Vanity Fair.
In April 2012, D'Ambrosio's feature film Let Fury Have the Hour made its World Premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, screening in the festival's Spotlight section. Produced, written, and directed by D'Ambrosio, Indiewire selected the film as "12 New Films We're Excited For at Tribeca 2012" describing it is as "Dynamic and exhilarating… Less a history of art than a history of what art can do, the documentary has the potential to testify to the power of artistic expression -- and also become a version of it.” PBS's POV featured the film as a documentary to watch: an often thoughtful and mostly philosophical discussion of what author-filmmaker Antonino D’Ambrosio calls “creative response.” Spawned from his book of the same title, the film makes the case that the best way to fight bad ideologies is through activism in the arts and sciences. In a feature interview interview with D'Ambrosio, The Huffington Post wrote: “What Antonino D'Ambrosio has done with Let Fury Have the Hour is making me rethink everything I took for granted in my life… Let Fury Have the Hour is a cinematic movement, not just a filM.” Complex magazine, among many others, selected as one of 25 films to see at the Tribeca Film Festival calling it "contagious and timely." In writing about the film COOL magazine stated: “By far this is the strongest and most important film showing in Tribeca Film Festival this year. There are many films, and especially documentary films, where one sits and merely watches what happens on screen. But I felt as if I actually got energy from Let Fury Have the Hour. It is alive in a way that I feel is essential for artists, for society, for human beings.”
D'Ambrosio received support from Rob McKay of the McKay Foundation and Democracy Alliance for production of a documentary film based on Let Fury Have the Hour chronicling the movement of world citizenship. The film has many musical contributions from artists including Chuck D, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Ocote Soul Sounds, Sean Hayes, Tommy Guerrero, Boots Riley, Tom Morello, Wayne Kramer, Billy Bragg and others. The film also features many of today's most creative thinkers and artists including playwright Eve Ensler, authorEdwidge Danticiat, scientist Jonah Lehrer, novelist Hari Kunzru, international human rights advocate Jack Healey, choreographer Elizabeth Streb, poets Staceyann Chin and Suheir Hammad, environmentalist Van Jones, and more.
In addition, D'Ambrosio's frequent collaborator artist Shepard Fairey created a series of murals inspired by D'Ambrosio's film Let Fury Have the Hour. The mural series is titled "Mourning in America".
In 1997 D'Ambrosio founded La Lutta New Media Collective, a non-profit social media and documentary production group. La Lutta NMC has worked with more than 800 groups around the world on various media projects, and maintains a membership of over 20,000. The late Neil Postman served as an adviser and honorary first board member during the early stages of the group's development. The Nation selected La Lutta NMC as one of the top 50 independent media groups in the country, and the New York Times described it as "bold [and] courageous... creating true democracy."
With La Lutta NMC, D'Ambrosio has produced a series of creative-activist events and performances including Speak the Words the Way You Breathe featuring the hip-hop group The Last Poets.
Visual art and exhibitions
In 2010, artist Shepard Fairey invited D'Ambrosio to contribute the official essay for his solo-exhibit Mayday at the Deitch Projects in New York City. The essay, "May Day Calling", is printed on the back of Fairey's signature "flag" print.
In 2009, D'Ambrosio was Artist-In-Residence at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, NM where he launched the multimedia land-art installation La Terra Promessa: In Sun & Shadow.
In 2006 D'Ambrosio was invited to document the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign in Caracas, Venezuela at the World Social Forum. His short film documenting the experience, In the Land of Bolivar, has been screened around the world. In 2005, D'Ambrosio was Artist-In-Residence in the Media Arts Department at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. He speaks extensively at universities and colleges throughout the country.
From 1999-2001, D'Ambrosio served as The Nation magazine's first Technology Coordinator, where he worked with then publisher Victor Navasky, editor Katrina vanden Heuvel, and the magazine's contributors.
He is currently a member of the San Francisco Writers Grotto and the Brooklyn Writer's Space. The son of Italian immigrants from the small mountain village of Colli a Volturno, D'Ambrosio was raised in Philadelphia, PA. In interviews and public appearances, D'Ambrosio has often said that his work is largely influenced by his experiences growing up in the Italian immigrant community in Philadelphia as well as his time spent as a boy working alongside his bricklayer father, Lorenzo, who died in 1988. D'Ambrosio has chronicled this experience in the upcoming short story "The Call" as well in a section of his book A Heartbeat and a Guitar. D'Ambrosio attended La Salle University where he received a BA in 1993. In 1997, he received a Masters degree from New York University where he was a Dean's Scholar.
- (2012) Let Fury Have the Hour: Joe Strummer, Punk, and the Movement that Shook the World.
- (2011). Paperback release of A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears.
- (2010). "Mayday: The Art of Shepard Fairey''.
- (2009). Democracy in Print: The Best of The Progressive magazine, 1909-2009. Contributor
- (2009). A Heartbeat and A Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears. (NY: Basic Books/Nation Books)
- (2004). Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer. (NY: Avalon Press/Nation Books)
- "The Free Space". The Huffington Post. April 2012.
- "Overdue Notice: Defend Our Libraries". The Progressive. November 2011.
- "On Ai Weiwei and Artist Suppression". The Progressive. June 2011.
- "Society Must be Defended". The Progressive. June 2011.
- "In Defense of Humans". The Progressive. June 2011.
- "An Interview with Rosanne Cash". The Progressive. October 2010.
- "Ozomatli's Musical Journey". The Progressive. September 2010.
- "Eduardo Galeano's Reflections of the World". Slepton. July 2010.
- "May Day Calling". OBEY GIANT. May 2010.
- "Howard Zinn: Historian of the Human Spirit". The Progressive. January 2010.
- "Gary Farmer: "Cultural Work is Our Survival". The Progressive. October 2009.
- "Green Day Never Gives Up!". The Progressive. August 2009.
- "Shepard Fairey's D.I.Y. Democracy". The Progressive. June 2009.
- "The John Sayles Interview". The Believer. March 2009.
- "The Only Band that Mattered". The Rumpus. December 2008.
- "Richard Price, American Realist". The Progressive. December 2008.
- "Lee Atwater's Legacy". The Nation. October 2008.
- "The Lamplighter: Walter Stafford, 1940-2008". The Progressive. December 2008.
- "The Bust Out". Monthly Review. June 2008.
- "Manu Chao, Globalista". The Progressive. March 2008.
- "M.I.A. in Action". The Progressive. January 2008.
- "Lewis Black: The Interview". The Progressive. April 2007.
- "When Worlds Collide". Monthly Review. July 2006.
- "Joe Strummer, Terrorist?". The Nation. April 2006.
- "In thee Land of Bolivar". Monthly Review. February 2006.
- "Chuck D: The Interview". The Progressive. August 2005.
- "The Playwright vs. the Prime Minister". The Progressive. June 2004.
- "The People You Don't See". New Labor Forum. Summer 2004.
- "Up on the Block: The Power of People-Link". Clamor. Winter 2003.
- "Soundtrack to Struggle". ColorLines Magazine. Winter 2003.
- "Let Fury have the Hour: The Passionate Politics of Joe Strummer". Monthly Review. June 2003.
- "Passion is a Fashion". Clamor. July 2002.
- "Punk and Political". The Nation. 1998.
- Fever Pitch. Publisher. (2004–2005)
- DISPATCH On-Line Indy News Journal. Publisher (2001–2003)
- Let Fury Have the Hour" (2012) Writer/Producer/Director.
- The Bending Cross. (2009). Producer/Director/Writer. 95 mins.
- Making Waves, Breaking Walls: The Story of Radio Atlantis. A Project of La Lutta NMC's Youth-Artist-in-Residency Program. (2009) Executive Producer. 12 mins.
- No Free Lunch (starring Lewis Black). (2008). Producer/writer/director. 7 mins.
- Project 843: A Documentary Series on the cultural Impact of Central Park. (2007–present) Executive producer and supervising director.
- In the Land of Bolivar. (2006). Writer, producer, photographer, and director. 10 mins.
- Battlescars. (2006). Production Consultant. 30 mins.
- Freedom Demo: The RNC Counter Convention. (2004) Producer, photographer, and editor. 25 mins.
- Desaparecidos: Our History Oral History Project. (2004). Writer, producer, photographer, director and editor. 55 mins.
- One Judge, One Family. (2004). Writer, producer, photographer, director, and editor. 17 mins.
- The Treatment Court Story. (2002) Writer, producer, photographer, director, editor. 15 mins.
- The Contract and Beyond. New York City Transit Workers Move Forward. (2002)Writer, producer, photographer, director, and editor. 25 mins.
- Road to the Contract: New York City Transit Worker's Documentary Series
- Struggle for a New Contract. (2002) Writer, producer, photographer, director, and editor. 25 mins.
- Back in the Days: A Time before Crack. (2000) Writer, producer, photographer, director, and editor. 30 mins.
- Once there was a Village. (1999). Based on the book of the same name. Producer, photographer, director, and editor. 30 mins
- Welfare Reform: Rollback or Removal? (1996). Writer, producer, photographer, director, and editor. 30 mins.
- (2009) Belmont Book Award (nominated).
- (2009) Artist-In-Residence. Center for Contemporary Arts. Santa Few, New Mexico
- (2008) Nation Institute Investigative Fund Award. Award to support investigative work on book project A Heartbeat and A Guitar
- (2006) New York University Gallatin Lecturer. An honor bestowed upon a contemporary artist creating innovative and socially engaging work.
- (2005) Artist-In-Residence, Long Island University Media Arts Department. An honor awarded to an artist producing dynamic and noteworthy new media.
- (2005) Top Non-Fiction Book Selections of 2005. Awarded by PBS to non-fiction writers who published work that could be used as an educational tool in the classroom.
- (2003) Digital-Artist-In-Residence (Given to La Lutta NMC). Awarded to emerging and established web artists working in the area of documenting the immigrant experience.
- (1999) Top Independent Media Makers. Awarded by The Nation readers to those individuals creating media that advances democracy.
- (1998) Community Service Award of Distinction. Awarded by the El Puente Center for Arts and Culture for support of youth-community public space mural initiative.
- (1998) Community Arts Grant. Awarded by the Manhattan Borough President's Office, New York City.
- (1995) Deans' Scholar. Awarded every 2 years to 20 New York University students demonstrating academic excellence, a strong social consciousness, and a vibrant creative sensibility.
- Interview on WNYC Soundcheck, May 2011.
- Antonino D'Ambrosio and Shepard Fairey featured on GRITtv with Laura Flanders, May 2010.
- Antonino D'Ambrosio featured on GRITtv with Laura Flanders, November 2009.
- Antonino D'Ambrosio featured on The Clash: Revolution Rock, 2008.
- Interview of Antonino D'Ambrosio by Brian Lehrer, June 2008.
- Antonino D'Ambrosio Live from Prairie Lights Books, February 2005.
- Reed, James (December 8, 2009). "Cash's lost treasure". The Boston Globe.