Bruno Sammartino Documentary: La Mama Mia
Bruno Sammartino, dubbed 'THE LIVING LEGEND' for holding the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship for over 11 years, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013. The documentary in post-production at Park City Film Studios, however, is not about his famed career but the road he traveled to get there.
Born in Pizzoferrato, Italy in 1935, after his father left to work in America, Bruno, his mother, and siblings fled their village when it was overtaken by German soldiers. They spent 14 months in hiding, barely surviving, on top of a mountain called Valla Rocca. The heroic efforts of his mother kept them alive.
After the war, the family attempted to immigrate to America. Unfortunately, Bruno, the weakest of the children, was too fragile to pass the health inspection forcing the family to remain in Italy for three more years. Bruno's struggle to succeed was motivated by his desire to give a better life to his parents, especially his mother who sacrificed so much for him.
The story of sacrifice, determination, success and devotion is a classic rags to riches.....bones to brawn....immigrant boy makes good......power of mother love all rolled into the package of Bruno Sammartino.
Frank E. Johnson, local director and cinematographer known for Touched by An Angel, The A Team, Wiseguy, and Walker Texas Ranger is finishing production of a documentary about Bruno with the working title of La Mia Mama. Frank and Bruno were at the Park City in February to film interviews at the Film Studio and make appearances at PCTV and Channel 4 in Salt Lake for early promotion of the documentary.
With post production nearing completion, Frank has high hopes. “We will end up with a superb film and have an eye on getting a Sundancescreening next year. Our goal is to get the film into worldwide distribution and an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary. “
Nothing wrong with shooting for the stars when your documentary is based on such a bright one.