Untitled Pizza Movie

Director: David Shapiro
Screenwriters: David Shapiro

Institute History

  • 2020 Sundance Film Festival


In the early 1990s, David Shapiro and Leeds Atkinson, lifelong friends from Manhattan’s Lower East Side, set out to find the perfect slice of the city’s biggest commodity—pizza. Under the guise of filming a TV series titled Eat to Win, Dave and Leeds traversed pizzerias throughout their rapidly changing city until they found a favorite: Lombardi’s, widely acknowledged as the first pizzeria in the country. There they discovered Andrew Bellucci, a passionate chef whose humble beginnings as a short-order cook at a bingo parlor segued into an unlikely role as a darling of the New York food world. When they discover that Bellucci had been a Wall Street criminal imprisoned after an FBI investigation, their project takes an unexpected turn. The two friends drift apart, and their film goes unfinished.

Over a decade later, Leeds died tragically at the age of 52. Shapiro, now an established filmmaker in his own right, pieces together their lost footage to examine the fault lines of class, memory, and self-invention.

Here we present the first three episodes of this offbeat docuseries, an ode to pizza, comradery, and a bygone era in New York history.

— A.M.

Screening Details

  • Section: Indie Episodic Programs
  • Film Type: Episodic
  • Country: U.S.A.
  • Run Time: 113 min.


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