Stories Of Los Angeles Harbor Area: For Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow – The Movie


Presented DocSunday, March 17 Closing Event at 2019 LAHIFF

Presenting Sponsor Marathon Petroleum – Los Angeles

Program F (Doors open 3:30 pm)

4 pm Welcome & Introductions

Presentation of the Flag of the U.S.A. by Veterans of the Foreign Wars, Post #2967 – Wilmington, California – POLA

4:30 pm

Stories Of Los Angeles Harbor Area: For Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow – The Movie

U.S.A..~ Gopher Crow Entertainment, 2018, not rated,  @90 min.~ Produced by Jack Baric & Stephanie Mardesich; Directed by Jack Baric.
Los Angles County grant funding by Supervisor Janice Hahn, District 4.
Conversation and Q&A after the screening with filmmakers & participants to be confirmed

The Production

The Stories Of The Los Angeles Harbor Area: For Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (SOLAHA) oral history project, filmed in 2018, aims to preserve the significant history of the people and communities of the Los Angeles harbor area, that spans from the port towns of San Pedro and Wilmington, to include Lomita, Harbor City and the Palos Verdes Peninsula, recognizing what is inherent to inspire future generations to continue striving to make it a great place to live, work, and invest in as the area continues to progress. Volume I included 20 individuals resulting in 72 stories. Segments have been released weekly via internet since October 2018 and can be viewed at the website at

Stories Of The Los Angeles Harbor Area: For Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow – The Movie is a composite including one representative story from each participant to demonstrate and instill the importance of retaining memories of the past for the present and future. Volume I is the first ever oral history project under the auspices of Los Angeles County made possible through grant funding by Supervisor Janice Hahn, District 4. Plans are underway for Volume II to be recorded in 2019.

The Filmmakers

Jack Baric at Emmys Awards photo

Jack Baric, Director & Co-Producer

Emmy Award winning filmmaker is a partner in Gopher Crow Entertainment, a production and marketing company. Baric, the founder of San Pedro Magazine (now San Pedro Today) , has a diverse professional background with a foundation in great storytelling.

He has produced numerous documentary films that have played on various networks, including PBS, Fox Sports, Amazon, and Hulu. He has also made hundreds of short form videos for local and internationally based clients. In addition to film and print publishing, Baric has a passion for marketing, economic development, and charitable good works.

Stephanie MardesichStephanie Mardesich, Co-Producer

Known for her eclectic interests, as a community activist and strong presence, and avid about historic preservation with professional background in public relations/journalism, “SM” is an alumna of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts with extensive knowledge of film history and production an a public access producer.

She had the oral history project in mind for many years and finally took the idea to Jack Baric proposing they collaborate. After their initial meeting in May 2017 SOLAHA was in production a year later in 2018, and the movie version in 2019.

Special thanks to:

  • All interview “story tellers” participants
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, District 4
  • Nick Ippolito, Chief of Staff Los Angeles County (LABOS) District 4
  • Erika Velazquez, Harbor Director LACBOS District 4
  • Liz Oldendahl, Communications Director LABOS District 4
  • LA Harbor International Film Festival ™
  • John EK & Gloria Alarcon – Ek, Sunkin & Bai
  • Sara Carey (on set assistant)
  • Niko’s Pizzeria (Deno Boosalis & Nick Tsoufoulas)
  • Wienerschnitzel (Tom Trujillo)
  • San Pedro Brewing Company (James Brown)
  • Ports O’Call Restaurant (Jayme Wilson)



The Participants

Tommy Amalfitano: Coming to America from Italy 

Owner of San Pedro Fish Market tells the story of his family emigrating from the Italian island of Ischia to  New York and ultimately arriving in San Pedro.


Dave Arian: Harry Bridges  M&M Contract

Former ILWU International president, (late) Dave Arian talks about butting heads with his dad over an ILWU contract that Harry Bridges negotiated, only to later realize that he was wrong and Harry was right.


Joe Buscaino: Fishing nets and snails

LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino recalls Italian longevity and  memories from his childhood of playing on his Uncle Giuseppe’s fishing nets and  his “Nona” (grandmother)  preparing  pasta with snails  in red sauce for a favorite family meal.


Olivia Cueva-Fernandez:  Dad coming to America and the big fiestas of Wilmington

Author of Mexican Americans In Wilmington Olivia Cueva Fernandez recollects the big fiestas that brought people to the harbor town from all over the greater Los Angeles area — many of them arriving on the old “Red Cars.”


Rita Dever: The first judge in San Pedro

Mary Star High School Principal, Rita Dever recounts how her great-grandfather, William Savage lost his legal practice in Tombstone, Arizona,  his friendship with Wyatt Earp, and coming  to San Pedro, where he later became the port town’s first judge.


Louis Dominguez: Building the Vincent Thomas Bridge and connecting the 110 Freeway

Purple Heart recipient and Viet Nam War veteran reveals how legendary San Pedro politician Vincent Thomas got both a bridge built connecting San Pedro to Terminal Island, and extended the 110 freeway to reach the Port of Los Angeles.


Warren Furutani: Growing up on Terminal Island

Former Californian Assemblyman Warren Furutani tells about of his father growing up on Terminal Island before World War II.


Vlado Huljev: Escape from communism

Croatian American Club co-founder Vlado Huljev speaks about his daring escape from communist Yugoslavia across the Adriatic Sea to Italy then to America.


Steve Kleinjan:  WW II & wife’s grandfather Pearl Harbor bombing survivor

Founder of Clean San Pedro describes amazing story of his wife’s grandmother whose husband was in WW II Pacific Fleet stationed in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed December 7, 1941 and he was reported killed. The news was dire, but  all changed when she received an improbable telephone call from San Francisco.


Anita (Fistonich) Mardesich: Growing up in pre-WW II San Pedro

Daughter of founder of Star Fisheries recalls fond memories of growing up in pre World War II “melting pot” San Pedro, including the story of an ambulance crash that her mother was involved in on the way to giving birth to her.


Stephanie Mardesich: Fishermen’s Fiesta and the “smell of money”

Progeny of pioneer of California tuna canning industry LAHIFF director/founder Stephanie Mardesich recalls one of the greatest of San Pedro celebrations,  the Fishermen’s Fiesta, and how the aroma of freshly caught tuna meant economic prosperity for so many local families.


Irene Mendoza: From ship service, to Masons, to working at City Council

Irene Mendoza speaks of her career and how she got started in political service in the most unlikely way, by meeting a 14 year old boy. That boy was future Los Angeles  City Councilman Rudy Svorinich.


Danny Miranda: Throwing bananas on the docks

President of ILWU Foremen’s Union Local # 94  Danny Miranda talks about throwing bananas when he first started working as a longshoreman.


Cecelia Moreno: Painting out graffiti in Wilmington

POLA community advocate explains how she stayed out of trouble growing up in Wilmington and encouraged her nephews and nieces to paint out graffiti on weekends as a means to taking back their community.


Tony Pirozzi: The Gaffey Street  Italian World Cup parade

Italian-American community leader immigrant Tony Pirozzi remembers the celebration of  Italy winning the World Cup in 1982.


Mona Dallas-Reddick: Dad playing the piano bar at San Pedro’s posh Hacienda Hotel

Los Angeles Harbor College anthropology professor warmly remembers her father’s music career, including a regular gig playing at glamorous San Pedro Hacienda Motor Hotel (designed by eminent mid-century modern architect Richard Neutra) in the early 1950s that’s now only a memory.


Leo Rossi: San Pedro High rock tour rebel

Rock and roll tour road manager took an elective class in stage crew at SPHS that lead to an exciting career (with a detour getting busted sneaking backstage at a show).


Rudy Svorinich: The Croatian Red Nose Tribe

Former Los Angeles City Councilman for District 15 tells amusing tale of how his dad and uncle claimed to be Native Americans because they were born on an Indian reservation in the state of Washington and part of the “Red Nose” tribe!


Jim Trani: The old Majestic, L.A.’s sports hangout

Trani’s Ristorante owner shares memories of family origins and legacy of ”The Majestic Café” that was a magnet for some of Los Angeles’s greatest  ports superstars.


Bob Trujillo: Wilmington boy helps launch Taco Bell

Wilmington native recounts how a real estate transaction for a new Mexican restaurant in Wilmington led to a partnership that eventually launched Taco Bell, and how he  went on to also help with the founding of Wienerschnitzel.

Additional Credits

Filmed in San Pedro, California, ©2018
Camera operators: Kenneth Merrill & Lars Lindstrom
Editors: Kenneth Merrill & Jack Baric
Make up/Stylist: Perri Veganes


SOLAHA website –

Design/management: Jill Fox, Port Town Websites



  • Renaissance Group
  • Steve Kleinjan (Clean San Pedro)
  • Council District 15
  • George Van Buren & Associates (Accounting)
  • Jim Hussey (State Farm Insurance)
  • ILWU Local Foremen’s Union #94


Harbor photo image courtesy of Joseph M. Mardesich, Jr. Family Archive

LA Harbor International Film Festival

Mission Statement

The LA Harbor International Film Festival (LAHIFF), founded in 2003, is held annually with occasional special programs throughout the year often partnering with other community oriented non-profit organizations.

A non-juried, non-competitive film festival LAHIFF aims to entertain, enlighten and educate the cinematic audience by showcasing film and video that reflects the harbor and all that it embraces –  shipping and commerce, fishing, sailing, water sports, sea life and the area’s rich ethnic and cultural influences; and to promote the documentary genre via DocSunday,  literacy and a more thoughtful way to view a film through the education outreach program “Read the Book, See the Movie” – to create a cinematic  bridge between the people of the region and the people of the world.” (LAHIFF is a 501c3 non-profit organization).

Being a sponsor of the  LAHIFF demonstrates a sense of community awareness and support of the essential mission. Partnerships between business and individuals in supporting cultural events is fundamental to perpetuate the humanity, creativity, and traits we value as citizens, and its significance can never be underestimated.


LA Harbor International Film FestivalLA Harbor International Film Festival

16th Annual LAHIFF
March 14-17, 2019

“To create a cinematic bridge between the people of the region and the people of the world”