By Ron Matz

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—There’s something new in Little Italy, and it’s the talk of the neighborhood. It’s a tribute to a summertime event there.

Ron Matz has more on the artwork, the artist and the man who made the festival possible.

Little Italy’s newest attraction is a large mural, a tribute to the neighborhood’s famous film festival and the work of artist Marshall Adams.

“I just wanted to put all the elements of the film festival in there. I’ve got the popcorn machine, a guy wearing an O’s hat, different kinds of people. I’ve got Cher in ‘Moonstruck,’ and a silhouette of a guy carrying a pizza box,” Adams said.

The late John Pente was the festival’s godfather. The projector was in his third floor bedroom. He’s remembered here as an icon and as family.

“My father received a lot of acclaim starting at the age of 89. He had his 15 minutes of fame and it lasted a good 11 years. I know he’s looking down with great approval,” said Joe Pente. “He died three years ago this July. He was 100 years old, plus three months and a few days.”

The mural is made possible by Peroni Italian beer and Little Italy restaurants.

“Many of our customers are restaurants here in Little Italy. They serve and support our beer. They reached out to us and asked if we would like to be involved. We were excited to be involved with the project and help make the mural possible,” said Erika Foglesong, Peroni.

The Little Italy Film Festival covers a total of nine weeks. The mural will last much longer.

“I use paint made by a company that’s specifically used for murals. It will last generations. It will be bright and vibrant for years to come. It’s called Nova Color,” Adams said.

“I think it’s magnificent. I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job,” Joe Pente said.

This year’s Little Italy Film Festival concludes Friday night, as always with the movie “Cinema Paradiso.”


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