Writer, Director and Producer Dante Russo, winner of 2015’s ScreenCraft Short Screenplay Contest (which is currently open for entries until August 15th), also a fellow from the 2016 ScreenCraft Fellowship, recently premiered his short film Grief, which was his winning short script in 2015.
Grief had its East Coast Premiere on April 28th at the Maryland International Film Festival in Hagerstown.
Writer/Director Dante Russo repping GRIEF at last weekends East Coast Premiere in historic downtown Hagerstown, MD. More news to come… Photo by Desmond Herbert • • • • #grieffilm #eastcoastpremiere #shortfilm #indiefilm #fivestagesofgrief #grief #puppetry #indiefilmmaking #filmfestival #maryland #hagerstown #writer #director #producer #latergram
Before that, it had its World Premiere at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.
Russo recalls, “Seeing that first shot pop onto such a gigantic screen for the first time is a moment I’ll never forget. Hearing the audience giggle at all the right moments, gasp when I hoped they would, and then the utter silence during the final scene was worth all the ups and downs we experienced as indie filmmakers these past 12+ months. It was also the first time I truly made something that expressed how I feel on the inside and how I see the world. It’s scary, being vulnerable and opening yourself up through your art, but it’s beyond rewarding in ways I never knew existed. And now I can’t wait to do it again.”
MEET THE CREATIVES — A native New Yorker, writer/director DANTE RUSSO moved to Los Angeles after a decade performing across the US and Canada. His last professional acting credit was the pre-Broadway workshops of Disney’s “Newsies”. While his contemporaries grew up watching “Saved by the Bell” and “Friends”, Dante would rewatch “Cabaret” and “Death Becomes Her” on repeat. A self-diagnosed hypochondriac, he’s never seen “Breaking Bad”. BTS by @danalynnphoto #screenwriter #director #producer #writer #onlocation #indiefilm #shortfilm #grief #grieffilm #puppetry
The short blends live-action, puppetry, and visual effects to bring Righty, a hapless tube of striped stretched-cotton, to life. Drawing on music and cinematic language to take the audience into Righty’s perspective, the film underscores the universality of a struggle so central to the human condition: grief. Learn more about the film here.
It wasn’t that long ago when Dante sat down with other fellows to share their experiences for the Panel: How the ScreenCraft Fellowship Helps Screenwriters. Take a few moments to listen to Russo share his sage advice. Not able to turn your sound on? Take a peek at these 7 Questions With Shorts Contest Winner Dante Russo.
Curious what a winning script looks like? Click here to see a page from Grief‘s shooting script.
Congratulations to Dante! ScreenCraft is proud to be part of your journey.
A quick rehearsal on location between our lead actress/puppeteer Melinda Sullivan and Writer/Director Dante Russo. @grief_film marks their 3rd collaboration together having met in 2006 while touring the US and Canada in Disney’s #highschoolmusical BTS by @danalynnphoto #indiefilm #shortfilm #grieffilm #puppeteer #puppetry #onlocation #sunsetjunction #filmmaking #writerdirector