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Pride of Gloucester

St. Peter’s Fiesta

Every June in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the Italian American community holds the St. Peter’s Fiesta in homage to the patron saint of fishermen. For those connected, it’s a deeply religious ceremony. For spectators, it’s a carnival with unique sporting events such as the Greasy Pole. (A forty-five-foot telephone pole horizontally attached to a raised platform, extending over the water. The pole is heavily greased and a stick with a red flag is attached at the far end.) Participants, often intoxicated, in ridiculous outfits take turns trying to walk the pole, intent on reaching the flag and claiming glory. The only thing more outrageous than the outfits, are the falls, in which broken bones are a commonality.

Of the thousands of people who watch the events, outside observers may view them as magnificent spectacle, but to those involved, there is a deep understanding of heritage and honor for what they do. The sports are tailored to embody the toughest aspects and skillsets utilized by historical fishermen. Walking the Greasy Pole is akin to walking the slick spreader of a ship’s mast.

The men and women who press flesh to oar in the Seine Boat races, honor the fishermen who donned the dories in generations past. These modern day blue collar gladiators battle to be the best twelve-person crew in a one-mile race. A mile which defines them among their peers and builds rivalries to last a lifetime. Up to a dozen crews man the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria seine boats. In each heat, the winning crew moves on to compete against the other victors on Saturday. The previous year’s champion awaits the two winnings crews from the Saturday elimination race. It all culminates on Championship Sunday when the champs race the two remaining crews to victory and only one can be crowned the Pride of Gloucester.

Focus

This documentary will bring the audience inside the St. Peter’s Fiesta as never before. Guided by seine boat crew members, viewers will be taken on a journey through the religious novena, witness the festival as experienced by the participants, attend crew training sessions, be a fly on the wall in the St. Peter’s club for both ceremony and social exchange, and have a front row seat to the Greasy Pole contest and Seine Boat races as teams battle to be the best and honor their heritage, the sport and their hometown of Gloucester.

Iron Village

Formed from gym mates of varying rowing experience, these underdogs will give the career and legacy crews a run for their money. With their strengths in the realms of physical fitness and unit/crew cohesion, they face the challenge of utilizing tailored gym sessions to achieve a greater technical proficiency than the crews who have ingrained this knowledge in their muscle memory from a lifetime of battling in the sport.

Rowgue

This crew will be defending their title after taking first place in the 2017 female championship. This boat is led by Alex Pizzimenti, a fierce competitor and humble leader with two decades of rowing experience under her belt. When not competing in seine boats, she is stacking trophies in co-ed dory races.

Film Crew

Comprised of good natured and passionate professionals. Many of the crew are Gloucester born and trace their roots through the town’s history, which attaches a personal significance to making sure the story is told accurately and well.

Production Company: Cut Bridge Productions
Director: Sean O’Laughlin
Producer: Marc Nicastro
Producer: Dave Nicastro

Director of Photography: Jon Cooney
Business Development: Andrew Nicastro
Drone Op: Bob Turner
Drone Op: Mike Utzig
Drone Op: Josh Hall
Camera Op: Alex Sanfilipo

“This will be a documentary which will show the heart of Gloucester, the pride, what is it to be from this town. There is a unique culture here, and we want to share it with the world. For the community, we want them to point to this doc and be able to tell their friends, this is Gloucester, this is Seine Boats, this is the Greasy Pole, this is Fiesta!”
– Director Sean O’Laughlin

Sponsors

This documentary will be a success not only due to the talent of our film crew, but because we have this city behind us. Together we are going to tell this story.

Iron Village

St. Peter’s Club

Aero Evolution

Cape Ann Cinema & Stage

Jalapenos

If your business would like to be a part of this tale, please contact us and we’d be happy to discuss ways you can help.

It Takes A Village

We can only create this documentary with your help.

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St. Peter’s Fiesta

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