• BIO
USA | 2009 | 25 min | Short Narrative
Directed by: Thomas Justino 

Cosimo Lechesi’s world was torn out from under him when his dear old “Mamma” suddenly died due to a slip up at a local pizzeria. What was to be a plain cheese pizza shared for supper between mother and son, turned into a fatal mistake by an inattentive pie guy. An unfortunate anchovy lurked with the clinched hand of fate. Mamma was gone. Her physical aversion to the fish was too much to overcome.

Following Mamma’s death, Cosimo found his existence consumed by feelings of guilt and confusion. Each day that passed, new questions haunted him. Pushed to his limits by these feelings, Cosmio decided he was going to seek retribution for his loss. On the anniversary of Mamma’s passing, an order was placed at the pizzeria responsible for the incident. LARGE PIE WITH ONE ANCHOVY...to be delivered.

Scott Conti, a down on his luck delivery boy, would quickly realize that his luck was about to get much worse. What had begun as just one of those run of the mill “bad nights”, thin tips and bottom rung runs, would soon become a nightmare the likes only experienced by Dante during his descent through the Inferno. The Large Pie with one anchovy, his delivery and his bloody cross to bear. Scott arrived at the house to find himself staring down the barrel of a wild west pistol and into the eyes of a man who was lost, and desperately seeking closure.

Master crime writer Cecil Garret prepares to weave these events into a tapestry of hard boiled prose, as the incident is analyzed by those that were affected by this fateful night. With Anchovies...Without Mamma is an investigative look at love, loss, pizza and the depth of circumstance.

Director/Writer: Thomas Justino
Producer: Ken Regan
Editor: Elias Ganster
Director of Photography: Trent Ermes
Composer: Thomas Justino

Adam Scarimbolo, Elias Ganster, Johnny Tammaro, Joli Tribuzio, Kelly Clark, Matt Trieste, Zach Lobardo

Thomas Justino: Director, Executive Producer, Original Music/Composer, Production Designer, Publicist, Submission Contact, Writer

Thomas Justino’s passion for the visual arts took him to New York City where he studied photography at the Fashion Institute of Technology. During his time at F.I.T. Thomas began writing regularly. Now in a world much different from upstate New York where he was born, he was able to take in Independent films at theaters like the Angelika Film Center and classics at the Film Forum. Thomas discovered it was film that had his heart all along. He spent countless hours in his dorm room watching movies from every master of every genre. Kurosawa to Chaplin, Fellini to Wilder. Thomas realized he wanted to dedicate his life to making films, to bringing his love for page and image together.

Thomas went on to study film at Manhattan’s School of the Visual Arts. Though developing close bonds with other filmmakers and learning a tremendous amount about the film making craft, he was frustrated by the lack of time he had to write. He left SVA after one year to find work somewhere in the field and to write his first feature screenplay.

Thomas began working at Camerafive as a studio manager for photographer and film producer Ken Regan. In his first year of work he was able to jump into the industry head first. Thomas wrote his first feature script From Here to New Jersey and took the job of production coordinator on Ken Regan and director Neil Leifer’s short film Scout’s Honor. The film starred Alec Baldwin and Bill Murray. It was an experience that proved to be invaluable.

Thomas used his flexible work schedule at Camerafive to put in time on other spec scripts and take classes in film. Thomas’ follow up to his first script, the feature screenplay Funky Street placed as Finalist and Quarterfinalist in the Practical Paradox and Scriptapalooza screenplay competitions. After spending time writing some other scripts on spec, Thomas decided to write the screenplay he felt would be a logical first step to directing. With Anchovies…Without Mamma was the first film that Thomas had directed since film school. During his time making the film, he realized that through limitations, possibilities are born. He worked as production designer, and composer as well as being the writer-director. These were two jobs he never knew it possible for him to take on.

With Anchovies...Without Mamma won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Short at the CMJ Film Festival in NYC this past October 2009. Currently Thomas is writing the feature screenplay version of his short film With Anchovies…Without Mamma with an eye on shooting sometime in late 2010.