Saturday, August 28, 2010


LIDO CANTARUTTI - FIGLIO DELLA COSTA has agreed to be our Special Guest at the "La Nostra Costa Days Revival Event" on Sunday, OCT 17, at Jim Cochron's Swanton Berry Farm
To re-introduce Lido to you I post an article that first appeared on this "Blagga" in 2006.

(Photo) Lido Cantarutti (Right) with his mother, Evelina and brother, Reno (Left). Photo taken at the Cantarutti family home in Richmond in 2002. Evelina celebrates her 98th Birthday this coming December (2010).

Lido Cantarutti was born in Santa Cruz, at the old Sisters' Hospital, which was located at Bay and West Cliff Drive (near Cowells Beach). His parents Guido and Evelina Cantarutti with their first born infant son Carino (Reno) immigrated from Italy to California in the mid-1930s. For the first couple of years of his life, Lido lived in a wind-blown shack which was located about 7-miles north of Davenport. ("La Nostra Costa" p.140). From these meager beginnings (All they had according to Evelina, was the clothes on their back and that infernal coastal wind in their faces), emerged a most honored "Figlio della Costa."

"Born of an Italian family from the Friuli region, Lido Cantarutti grew up in the Bay Area. He attended U.C. Berkeley, earning a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Romance Languages and Literature, and "Highest Honors" and Phi Beta Kappa recognition.

After college, Lido served as a U.S. Army officer, followed by a corporate career in marketing administration and human resources. Throughout his career he has maintained and enthusiastic interest in Italian cultural activities. In 1980 he assumed leadership of a fledgling Italian film program at the College of Marin. His presentation of the program, as a "festival" and not just a movie, with live entertainment, informative and entertaining introductions, and personal "family style" greeting of guests, produced a winning formula for popular success.

Since 1985, most Festivals have been sold out. Special series featured great neorealist (1985) and comedy classics (1986 and 1987) of the Italian cinema. In 1988, Mr. Cantarutti offered two shows in the open-air setting at Dominican College's Forest Meadows Theatre. In 1989, the Festival moved to the Showcase Theatre at Marin Center in San Rafael, affording improved patron conveniences and 35 mm film projection.

Also in 1989, Lido was honored with Italian knighthood, and the title of "Cavaliere", or "Knight" of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. He was named Marin County's Italian American Citizen of the Year by the Cristoforo Club of Marin in 1995. In 1996, he received two awards in Italy - the Merit Furlan and recognition from the Friulian branches of the Alpini national soldier association. For the academic year 1998-1999 at the College of Marin, Lido was honored for his teaching of Italian with the award as Outstanding Faculty Member (Part-Time). In addition he has served as the host of Northwest Airlines' inflight video program showing Italian films.

More recently, Lido was again honored by the Italian government with a promotion to "Cavaliere Ufficiale" or "Knight Officer", and by his family's native town in Italy with the conferral of honorary citizenship."

Well done Lido! All those honors and please add one more :"Figlio Della Costa - Speciale", conferred on you this day by your 'amico della costa" Ivano Franco Comelli.

BTW: The Italian Film Festival is held annually (usually in October). New releases for this year's festival will be posted soon on Lido's website: