Taylor Taglianetti is a 22-year old NYU graduate. A year before getting her film school degree, she founded the National Organization of Italian-Americans in Film and Television (NOIAFT) in her native New York City. The reason for this endeavor was to repay “all of the generous scholarships and wonderful opportunities that Italian American organizations, such as the [New York City-based] Columbus Citizens Foundation and NIAF [the Washington D.C.-based National Italian-American Foundation], have afforded me.”
Taglianetti added, “I realized that it didn’t always matter how hard you worked, but who you knew. In essence, it was a necessity to create NOIAFT as Italian-Americans don’t have a network that they can rely on in the entertainment industry.”
Indeed, the ambitious Taglianetti did not shy away from working hard during her time at NYU.
“I was a development intern at Maven Pictures and Silver Pictures, and a casting intern at NBCUniversal,” she said. “My first job out of college was working as a talent assistant at Paradigm Talent Agency. I just left this job in March. Now, I am continuing to grow NOIAFT. My goal is to produce feature films so that I can fast-track putting my members to work.”
As for the size of the organization, Taglianetti said, “We have a few hundred members and are growing every day. Membership is free and open to all. By becoming a member, you pledge to help at least one other Italian-American who is a part of our organization. This can be as simple as giving another person advice! Our membership includes those both on the creative and business sides of the industry, but we also have members who are historians, professors, genealogy experts, translators, and so on. Although most of our members are Italian-American, we are fortunate to have many native Italians, Italian-Canadians, and even Australians of Italian descent as members. We also have members from other ethnic groups who are passionate about Italian-American cinema or just believe in our mission.”
As for the NOIAFT’s structure, Taglianetti said, “We are based in New York City, but we have members all over the country and world. Currently, we do not have an office as I’m doing everything out-of-pocket,” she said. “Pre-COVID, I would be invited to a number of press events, premieres, screenings, and film festivals in New York City. Anytime I would get press tickets, I would extend them to NOIAFT’s members so that we could meet up. We’ve convened at events like the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, Open Roads, and BAMCinemaFest.”
Taglianetti also outlined the organization’s calendar of events for 2021, which were planned with the Columbus Citizens Foundation. “We’ve booked a number of celebrity panelists and it looks like we’ll have one joint event together per month. Last week I moderated a virtual discussion and Q&A with special guest Frank Stallone [Sylvester’s brother] to discuss the recently released documentary that he is the subject of, Stallone: Frank, That Is. Last month, I moderated a panel discussion and Q&A on The Cuban, which was directed/produced by Sergio Navarretta and written/produced by Alessandra Piccicione. They are both NOIAFT members and participated in the panel, alongside Academy Award winner and the film’s lead, Louis Gossett Jr. In December, I helped our member, Charlie Romo, who is an amazing crooner, put on a livestream Christmas concert at the Columbus Citizens Foundation’s townhouse. Other Italian organizations have reached out to collaborate with us on events, so I’m just trying to keep on top of everything. I’ll be excited to announce all of these events very soon. Of course I am crossing my fingers with the hope that by the end of 2021, we can celebrate cinema and all of our members’ work in person,” she concluded.