Made in Brooklyn: The Shoemaker

Although I only knew about this series through the final episode, 'The Shoemaker', the stories told and illustrated throughout mere minutes of film makes me want to go back and watch the series in its entirety to learn about each of these creators. The final episode tells the story of shoemaker Frank Catalfumo as he talks about how he got into the business, how the neighbourhood has changed over the past seven decades, and what he’d be doing if he weren’t still mending shoes. 'Made In Brooklyn' is a video series about makers, craftspeople, and artisans who are based in the borough; an homage to Brooklyn. The series was created by Dustin Cohen, with endless help from Michael Hurley.

Made in Brooklyn - The Shoemaker

New York City based portrait photographer and director, Dustin Cohen, recently completed the latest installment of his ongoing video series, “Made in Brooklyn”, which focuses on Frank Catalfumo, a 91-year-old shoemaker and repairer in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

A World War veteran, Catalfumo first opened the doors to ‘F&C Shoes’ in 1945 where he continues to work five days a week alongside his son, Michael.

During the past 70+ years, everything around Frank has changed. Prices have gone up; neighboring stores have come and gone, probably many times over. But one thing has remained the same. Frank “keeps moving forward”, coming to work five days a week and bringing worn souls back to life.

His hands (shown above) tell the story in the video below.

The Shoemaker from Dustin Cohen on Vimeo.

A very sweet and entertaining short film about a man and his love of making shoes.

Check out earlier episodes in the “Made In Brooklyn” series here.