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Friday, 2 November 2012

"Crackers", starring Vincent D'Onofrio, Screening at Teaneck Film Festival

Short film, 'Crackers' will be present at Teaneck High School, 
Nov. 10

The short independent film, Crackers, produced by Exit 135 Productions starring Vincent D’Onofrio (Law & Order Criminal Intent), Brenda Vaccaro (Midnight Cowboy), Dan Hedaya (Cheers), Sal Richards (Out for Justice), Anthony Laciura (Boardwalk Empire), Beth Ann Bonner (One Life to Live) and Vincent Mora (Westfield resident) will make its New Jersey debut on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 5:15 p.m. at the Teaneck High School Auditorium, 100 Elizabeth Avenue as part of the sixth Annual Teaneck International Film Festival. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.

 Westfield resident and award–winning documentary and narrative filmmaker, Gregory Principato, (Mr. Laughs –A Look Behind the Curtain – 2009), has directed, produced and co-wrote the film, alongside Mountainside resident, Timothy Reinhardt. Crackers is a fictional showcase piece produced independently with a budget of under $200,000. Even with such restraints, the crew, made up of all professional actors and crew helped to make the film look and feel like a true big budget Hollywood movie. Crackers recently won Best Short Film and The People’s Choice Award at the 2012 Fort Myers Beach Film Festival and Best Short Comedy at Artisan Festival International’s World Cinema Festival in the Hamptons this past summer.

 This dark comedy, with a run time of 32 minutes is a story of the unraveling of an otherwise content chef (Vincent D’Onofrio) who now finds himself out of work and having to share his home with his cantankerous mother in law (Brenda Vaccaro), and her nutcracker collection that seem to invade his home. It’s only until he turns to his oddball neighborhood friends, (Sal Richards and Anthony Laciura) for help when things get worse and he slowly loses his paradise, his sanity and all that is sacred to him.

 When asked how they came up with the story, Principato said the experience had been surreal. “My wife had just finished reading Tim’s novel, “Not Far From Nothing” and suggested I meet with him to discuss his helping me write Crackers. The story had been twirling around in my head for years, but once we decided to work together, the words just flew out of my mouth and Tim began typing away. It took a few weeks to write the full story. Some of the characters come from our personal experiences and upbringing, so the dialogue felt real, but I was particularly amazed about how smoothly the partnership between Tim and I evolved as we met weekly at Barnes and Noble to work on the story.” Although Gregory has directed projects before and Tim has other fictional works written, this was the team’s first attempt in writing a fictional screenplay.

 “There were times I was pacing, waving my hands and yelling out profanities as part of the dialogue, while Tim was sitting on the floor with his laptop plugged in to the wall in the back of the store by the restrooms. One time, there was this elderly woman on her way to the bathroom when she had caught us in mid-dialogue, with me yelling, 'Now Gus, feed the crazy old broad some kind of potent drug." I felt like a deer caught in the headlights when I turned around to see this sweet old woman staring at me. The look on her face was just priceless.” Principato explains.

 For more information about the film festival, visit



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