Lynn Dingfelder and Larry Wiezycki's latest documentary, "La Gaceta The Documentary: 100 Years and 3 Generations Behind America's Only Tri-lingual Newspaper," is a film about dreams - both imagined and fulfilled.
The award-winning Creative on Main Street team documents the story of the newspaper’s founder and family patriarch, Victoriano Manteiga, from when he emigrated from Cuba and became "El Lector" in a cigar factory, to starting La Gaceta, eventually passing it to his son, Roland, and now grandson, Patrick.
The documentary screened at the Tampa Theatre over the weekend.
"Their story is so compelling - tracking our city's history, politics and changes through the struggle and success of one family and our nation's only tri-lingual newspaper," Lynn Dingfelder says. "It was our honor to produce this documentary to save these stories so they are never lost."
Through archival black-and-white film footage and stills, as well as rich and informative interviews that Lynn conducted over the past 20 years, the documentary weaves Tampa's diverse ethnicities and their place in Tampa history.
A near-capacity crowd packed the Tampa Theatre for an event MC’d by author Paul Wilborn. Tampa City Councilman Bill Carlson and Betty Castor, former Hillsborough County Commissioner, Florida Education Commissioner, state senator and University of South Florida President, gave comments. A panel discussion and question and answer session featured Wilborn, Dingfelder, Patrick Manteiga and Wiezycki.
In a video presentation, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor announced that the documentary will be added to the Library of Congress in a special ceremony.
Audience members were invited to arrive early and stay after the documentary showing and q&a for the opportunity to have a photo taken while sitting at former publisher Roland Manteiga's iconic large table with his red phone and while seated in his "throne" from Ybor City's La Tropicana, where he held court daily until his passing in 1998.
The award-winning team of Dingfelder and Wiezycki have produced several documentaries that debuted locally at Tampa Theatre and local film festivals and aired on PBS: “JFK in Tampa: The 50th Anniversary,” “Save Our Cottages: Artists with a Cause,” Goody Goody: Past Present & Future,” “The Fabulous Rockers Forever!” and “The Frank Rey Dance Studio: 60 Years of Dance."
For more information, go to Creative on Main Street.