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"Columbus on Trial is an extremely well researched film on the Columbus controversy.
Through an interrogation of the ghost of Christopher Columbus by the ghost of 18th-century
American political activist Elizabeth Willing Powel (a confidante of President George Washington),
we as viewers witness a 21st-century argument over controversies surrounding Columbus’s discovery of the New World.
Extremely well researched and presented as a docudrama, the film leaves the viewer to decide. 
Further still, it may also serve as a blueprint for either side of the argument through a follow-up of the material presented therein.”

from The Columbus Affair monograph by Dr. Anthony Julian Tamburri, Dean, The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute










see the How Do You Solve a Problem Like Columbus?- Heniz Center




See The West Caldwell Library's "Columbus on Trial" Zoom presentation on YouTube

see the Flyer

“Engrossing, educational and thought-provoking film screening and discussion of Columbus on Trial.
The film clearly makes you rethink your childhood history lessons and ponder about the motives and actions
of Columbus, who I had always revered as a hero. The performances by Robert Cuccioli and Sophie Sorensen were
brilliant, very natural and organic. The message of the film is also a very powerful one,
which is a credit to the screenwriting and filmmaking.
I think this film, with some study guides, could serve as an excellent teaching tool.”

Ethan Galvin, Senior Reference Librarian, West Caldwell Public Library






See The Calandra Institute's "Columbus on Trial" Zoom presentation on YouTube

read the Press Release 




See "The La Voce di New York" article




Press photos. Write to us for hi res copies

Photo Description: Sophie Sorensen as Elizabeth Willing Powel and Robert Cuccioli as Christopher Columbus 

Photo Credit: Image courtesy of and © Bongiorno Productions Inc.




“We all think we know Columbus.
The Bongiornos have created a very provocative film
that brings us closer to the historical Columbus and his legacy.
It challenges how we view historical figures and how we should view them.
The film puts history on trial and forces you to learn your history!”

Dr. Leslie Wilson, historian



"Columbus on Trial puts us all on trial
as it pushes us to think yet again about
Columbus and his New World history!”

Dr. Anthony Julian Tamburri
Dean, The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute



"The film presents such a timely & relevant topic;
both for the deeper understanding of Columbus's contextualized place in our history,
and with respect to the broad topic of race relations and nationalism.
And an added bonus: you put an intelligent, assertive women in the mix!"

Emma Cortese, Ph.D., Nutley Family Services Bureau



"Great discussion. Your work gave me and my students a lot to think about
& affirmed the importance of having informed opinions, of doing primary source research before we jump to conclusions
on controversial topics. The premise of Columbus on Trial, the way you use film to reframe Italian-American history, is brilliant.”

Victoria Tomasulo, Ph.D., Comparative Literature Lecturer of Italian, Mercy College