Project Description



A Docufilm produced by
Andrea Doria Project, LLC
Written by Pierette Domenica Simpson
Directed by Luca Guardabascio


This film will be a must-see for anyone who loves to celebrate the power of the human spirit to triumph over tragedy.”—Mike Stoller, legendary composer of

VALERIO MASSIMO MANFREDI: The importance of the film


The ramming of our Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria by the Swedish Stockholm could have been another Titanic, but thanks to the competence and courage of Captain Calamai and his crew, the tragedy has been hailed as the “greatest sea rescue in history”. So why did Captain Calamai die feeling abandoned and disgraced? His last haunting words, “Are the Passengers Saved?”, a docufilm of 80 minutes, exposes a cold case and finally resurrects the Truth.

The docufilm, written and produced by Pierette Domenica Simpson, uses vivid dramatizations of Pierette’s immigration, her nightmare on the Atlantic, and her arrival in the New World. Accompanied by interviews with maritime experts, survivors, and divers, along with astounding archival footage, the film will reveal the research published in her two books: Alive on the Andrea Doria! The Greatest Sea Rescue in History (L’ultima notte dell’Andrea Doria), and I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! The Titanic of the 1950s.

Many themes are represented: the hardships of immigration, survival, family sacrifice, unscrupulous politics, ethnic stereotyping, and correcting history for future generations. But the overall theme is “the courage to triumph over tragedy”. The little girl who became a victim of a sea tragedy survived to vindicate her captain, and tell the “other face of the Truth”. Little Piera became Pierette who honors her grandparents for their immense sacrifice of giving up all their life possessions to accompany her to a new family in America.

Pre-production began in January of 2015 and is now complete.

The docufilm, (the genre having 120% increase in interest lately), is intended to stand on its own merits. However, it is Simpson’s mission to entice cinema and/or TV producers in either Italy or the U.S., to create a feature or a TV mini-series.


Comments about the teaser from viewers:
“Fabulous”, “Fantastic”, “So inspirational”, “A story that must be told”, “It was so emotional I cried”—and, “I can’t wait to see the docufilm!”


The docufilm, 80 minutes in length, is an international project filmed in Ferndale and Dearborn, Michigan, other U.S. cities, and in Piemonte and Liguria, Italy. It will be available in both English and Italian. The film is now in it’s last phase, Distribution. This involves various forms of marketing, promotion via media interviews, film showings, and film festival activities.


Writer and Producer: Pierette Domenica Simpson
Director: Luca Guardabascio of Rome (bio attached)
Crews: M-1 Productions and Tri Omega Productions of Ferndale, Michigan and a complete Italian crew in Italy
Editor: Alessio Rivellino


  • Celebrated international author, TV host, archeologist, Valerio Massimo Manfredi is interviewed
  • Notable Italian actors: Fabio Mazzari, Lucia Bendia, Giordano Petri
  • Don Most of “Happy Days” is interviewed
  • Main role: Pierette Domenica Simpson,
  • Other actors: People in the Detroit area and in Northern Italy (mostly Pierette’s village of Pranzalito)
  • Maritime Experts, Divers, Survivors


  • Script is based on the only complete shipwreck account written by a survivor
  • A shipwreck survivor writes the movie script and plays an acting role
  • Other survivors participate
  • A survivor provides music for the film score (Mike Stoller of
  • A member of the captain’s family describes the history of Admiral Andrea Doria, the namesake for the beautiful liner.


  • Dive footage from 1956-2015 and an exhibition of recovered art and artifacts
  • Legendary songwriter, Mike Stoller, provides original music for the film score along with 2 other composers’ original works
  • Facebook Page up and running: Andrea Doria: Are The Passengers Saved?
  • Andrea Doria 60th Anniversary Survivors’ Reunion Committee and Facebook page in place. Discussion for re-activating Andrea website.
  • Synergy with a national Italian project: “From Riflemen to Migrants”
  • International media coverage (ANSA, the AP, etc.)


  • All outlets: Cinema, TV, Netflix, etc. The length of 80 minutes facilitates options
  • Preparing proposals for a TV mini-series, as requested by 3 important entities
  • Film festivals around the globe
  • The Museo del Mare of Genoa has invited us to do the first screening in remembrance of the 60th anniversary of the tragedy: July 25-26
  • Presentations in several Italian cities and in U.S. venues
  • Conferences and screenings in International Universities
  • Screenings through Italian embassy and Italian Cultural Society, and more
  • Writing a study guide for use of the film in high schools and various college curriculums
  • Production and distribution of DVDs
  • A website

Exciting links!


“Pierette, I watched the trailer and the teaser; they look terrific…and I’m not very generous with my comments about such things. Your personal story’s point of view also has a great hook—-the Andrea Doria-Stockholm event was the anti-Titanic! For years, I worked with many scripts and stories in Hollywood, and I can say confidently that you have a very marketable product for multiple medias. I wish you much success!”
Stanley D. Williams, PhD.
Executive Producer, SWC Films
Author: The Moral Premise

“I am one of the survivors of that catastrophe, an event that will haunt me the rest of my life! So I’m thrilled that, at last, a film is in the works. The film is the latest quest of Pierette — whose haunting memories of the shipwreck inspire her to tell the truth about what really happened. This film will be a must-see for anyone who loves to celebrate the power of the human spirit to triumph over tragedy. Pierette has asked me to provide music for the soundtrack. Of course, for obvious reasons, I readily agreed.”

Mike Stoller,
N.B. Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber are known for some of the greatest hit of the 20th century: Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, Stand By Me, Is that All There is, Love Potion #9