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N. Arlington man wrote, starred in first film

By Angelica Rebozo

Observer Correspondent

Wednesday May 29 was a regular business day for most of us but for Gerard Garilli, it was the beginning of making his dream come true. He is a young man from North Arlington with the dream of being in the film industry. He works alongside his father in father’s photography business and has always dreamed of being a film maker.

“I’ve always been a fan of movies ever since I was a little kid from ‘Back to the Future’ to ‘Billy Madison’ to ‘Taxi Driver’; every type of genre I always liked it” he says. Garilli made two short films last year called “August 18” and ‘Hunt’s Place” which were very experimental and helped him hone the skills needed to write a script and create screenplays. Now, a year later, he is premiering his first film called “Fratello” at The Producer’s Club in New York on 44th St. “After I made those I knew, it was like an addiction; it’s like eating Doritos – you can’t just have one and walk away, I knew that this was my passion,” Garilli said.

The film is about two down and out brothers who run into some trouble and have to stick together to get through it. I don’t want to be a movie spoiler but for a movie shot partly in our hometown it was a pleasure to watch. It took place in many locations from Kearny to Secaucus and as a low budget, independent film, I found it very well made and scripted. Garilli starred in his film along with Steve Mason playing as his brother; his real-life sister Justine Garilli, Pe’er Klein, Mike Giordani, Devin Parentice and Joseph R. Gannascoli, a star from the hit TV Show “The Sopranos,” playing as a father figure. “On Twitter I saw his page (Joseph Gannascoli) and shot him an email. I didn’t think he was going to respond and he did instantly and we talked about the film and he was on board and it felt great,” said Garilli.

Garilli has two sisters, one of whom co-starred in his film and he says “it was very natural working with her; it was like how we are at home.” As the only boy in his family, I thought it would have been difficult for Garilli to act as though he had a brother but Garilli said “My sisters and I have a great realtionship but we sometimes fight so I took that into effect and it was natural because Steve and I have worked together and we have a really good relationship.”

The first day of shooting the director, Tony Picciotti, was giving the actors a hard time and never returned. It took Garilli some time to find a good director to work with and see his vision. He finally found Jason King who took over and everyone was very happy with him. The film was originally called “On the Run” and, as coincidence would have Gannascoli was in a film with that name. Garilli decided to change it post production. “‘Fratello’s ethnic and I liked it,” he says, grinning.

“I want to move people and have people see this film – its like getting in the major leagues; it’s like my dream would be accomplished,” he says. He is now working on getting “Fratello” to film festivals and hoping to get it on “the big screen.” Now that he has found his calling, he is hoping to create more films and star in them and eventually direct them as well. “My goal is to have people to see it and get it distributed. I want to get it in the hands of the right people. I am very proud of my product,” says Mr. Garilli.

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