Newswise — The Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) at Temple University is dedicated to international research collaboration between American and Italian scientists, continuing the legacy of Italian leadership in the sciences since the time of ancient Rome. In that same tradition, SHRO has been thrilled to support Italian-American achievement in the arts, especially when those efforts serve the greater good through advocacy for public health and socially conscious subjects.

This week, SHRO partners with the Italian Movie Award International Film Festival to support Italian-American work in cinema, particularly in recognition for accomplishments with the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in applications in medicine. The annual film festival, held each summer in Pompeii, is holding the first ever companion event in New York to present jury prizes with criteria to promote Italian-origin filmmakers living abroad, with particular attention to inclusivity of the filmmaker’s gender, age, and diversity. The festival award ceremony takes place December 10 at the The Paley Center for Media in Manhattan.  

“The Sbarro Health Research Organization is honored to participate in this year’s film festival awards and to support Italian-origin filmmakers around the world,” says Mina Massaro-Giordano, M.D. “The contributions of Italians to both medicine and culture represents a legacy that our organization is proud to carry on,” Massaro-Giordano says. As Professor of Clinical Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania Scheie Eye Institute, Dr. Massaro-Giordano has collaborated with researchers at SHRO and is married to SHRO Director Antonio Giordano, M.D., Ph.D.

The theme of this year’s film festival focuses on the future, which organizers have emphasized to celebrate the potential for a better future when medical-scientific research, technology and entertainment meet. The festival aims to inspire the next generation of filmmakers to explore new technologies, such as VR, by disseminating extraordinary results and patents obtained in research by SHRO in the use of VR in the medical-scientific sector.

"We are proud to continue our multi-year collaboration between Italian Movie Award - International Film Festival and the Sbarro Health Research Organization, under the leadership of Dr. Antonio Giordano,” says Carlo Fumo, Italian film director and President and Artistic Director of the Festival.

“In particular this year, our theme dedicated to the Future underscores the importance of  progress made by SHRO in the application of Virtual Reality in scientific medical research for a better future for all mankind,” Fumo adds. “We are proud to honor their work as part of our festival.” 

The event is in partnership with Plural + Youth Video Festival organized by the United Nations and in particular by UNAOC (United Nation Alliance Of Civilization), and the SHRO (Sbarro Health Research Organization) directed by Dr. Prof. Antonio Giordano.

About the Festival

Begun in 2009 by founder and current president, director Carlo Fumo, who came up with the idea of a cinematographic international festival that could enhance Italy's unique cultural and historical heritage and its tourist industry. More than a simple festival event, but a proper network of young experts able to create audiovisual works, spread the cinematographic culture by screening works coming from all around the world, attracting great personalities of the cinema to attend, and educating young people by means of masters and advanced training workshops. All these features, gathered inside the great region of Campania, have created a unique cultural, tourist and educational institution.

About the Sbarro Health Research Organization

The Sbarro Health Research Organization (SHRO) is non-profit charity committed to funding excellence in basic genetic research to cure and diagnose cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and other chronic illnesses and to foster the training of young doctors in a spirit of professionalism and humanism. To learn more about the SHRO please visit