A group of A-list talent came together in November to help 16-year old cancer patient Anthony Jonathan Conti fulfill his dream of writing and starring in his own film. Johnny Depp, J.K. Simmons, Laura Dern, Penelope Ann Miller, Chad Coleman, and Richard Chamberlain were joined by David Lynch, Catherine Hardwicke, Theodore Melfi, Sam Raimi, Peter Farrelly, and Sean Furst for The Black Ghiandola, a post-apocalyptic zombie story about a young man whose family has been killed and who risks his life to save a young girl he has grown to love. Filming took place November 18-20.
Anthony, diagnosed this summer with stage 4 Adrenal Cortical Cancer, stars in and co-wrote the film with Scott Kosar (Texas Chainsaw Massacre), with additional writing by Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice). The production was made possible by the Make A Film Foundation, a nonprofit established in 2007 that helps children enduring serious or life-threatening medical conditions to create short film legacies by teaming them with industry professionals who volunteer their time.
Rami, Hardwicke, and Melfi contributed as directors, with Farrelly and Furst serving as supervising producers. Hollywood Make A Film Foundation founder Tamika Lamison produced alongside Adele Rene and Bettina Fisher.
Along with Anthony’s father and grandmother, other contributions to the project were made by Teamsters Local 399 drivers, Star Waggons, Wooden Nickel, Panavision, AMPAS, AMC, The Walking Dead, L.A. Grips, Plan U Prods., St. Joseph’s Hospital, Big Sky Ranch, Friar Tux, Nature’s Bakery, Gala Minasova’s Picture Car, Western Costumes, Essential Water, Cinepower & Light, Avon, Galpin, Quixote Rentals, Zio Rentals, Durable Medical Equipment Aid Society, Enterprise, Alex’s Catering, Skye Props, Boston Mass General, Bear Creek Restrooms, Ruskin School of Acting, Constantine FX, Bloodlust Unlimited, MovieInsure, Domino’s, Starbucks, and Warner Bros.
Further information is available at the official site.