FITCHBURG -- The Center for Italian Culture at Fitchburg State University launches Affari di Famiglia, an exploration of Italian-American families and their foray into commerce, with a screening of the film "Big Night" (1996) at 3:30 and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5 at Ellis White Lecture Hall in Hammond Hall, 160 Pearl St. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets will be sold at the door.

In this acclaimed film, two immigrant brothers in 1950s America struggle to establish their own restaurant. They finagle a promise that Louis Prima will make an appearance at their restaurant and begin preparing food for the "big night." Conflict between the brothers arises over life in America and creative issues in the kitchen. This poignant film blends Italian love of food, family and immigrant ambitions for success, all mixed in with family dynamics. Directed by and starring Stanley Tucci.

The Affari di Famiglia project continues Wednesday, March 20 with a panel discussion featuring representatives from Italian-American businesses in central Massachusetts. The conversation will focus on how immigrants and their children worked to establish commercial enterprises and how the challenges of family and success affected them. The discussion will be led by Fitchburg State Professor Teresa Fava Thomas, a member of the Economics, History and Political Science Department faculty.