Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Award Winning Short Film Fundraiser at Center Players


Center Players, Freehold’s award-winning community theater, will present four award-winning short films by local filmmaker Anthony Marinelli. The fundraising event will be held at Center Playhouse, 35 South St, in downtown Freehold, NJ, on Sunday, Sept. 10th at 2pm and 5pm.

The first film on the program will be “Walt Whitman Never Paid For It,” about two brothers in Bensonhurst, one a semi-employed would-be poet (who also happens to be a 32 year-old virgin) and the other a neighborhood tough guy who pays a Ukrainian prostitute to put an end to his brother’s celibacy. Written by Angelo Berkowitz, adapted from his 2011 play originally presented in Chelsea Repertory’s E-merging Artist 1-Act Play Festival, the film went on to win the Audience Choice Award in the 2014 Richmond International Film Festival. Produced, directed and edited by Marinelli, it stars Angelo Berkowitz, Joseph Cassese and Amanda Greer.

The second film is “Acoustic Space.” A couple dining at an elegant restaurant cannot complete a conversation due to their constantly ringing cell phones, which alters the course of their relationship, and serves as a comment on how technology has changed the way we communicate. “Acoustic Space” was originally presented on stage in 2014 and won the award for Best Play of the Season in the Strawberry One-Act Festival. The film adaptation won Best Original Screenplay in the Richmond International Film Festival in 2016 and screened in the 2015 Cannes Short Film Corner. Also written, directed and edited by Marinelli, it was produced by Luloco Productions and Peregrine Films and stars Joseph Cassese, Alison Parks and Rick Schneider.

Third on the list is “Subway,” a 2 minute short about a connection that is made between a man and a woman on a New York City subway train. Starring Patrick Avella and Rosa Rodriguez (who are now husband and wife), the film has screened at both the NY and LA New Filmmakers Series as well as Reel 13 on PBS.

The final selection is “Marital Arts,” a short film about the art of marriage and a celebration of cinema. Joseph Cassese and Amanda Greer play a married couple in the midst of a heated argument who have agreed that neither of them can leave the bedroom until it is resolved. To date, the film has screened in three festivals, including the 2017 Cannes Short Film Corner, and was a semi-finalist in NYC’s Katra Film Series. 

Tickets are priced at $15 and are available online at or by calling 732-462-9093. Due to mature themes, the event is not recommended for children.

“We are fortunate to have a relationship with an artist of Anthony’s caliber,” noted Center Players Artistic Director Bernice Garfield-Szita, “and we are thrilled he has made these excellent films available to our patrons and local residents, which will expose Anthony’s work and our theater to new audiences.”

Marinelli has written and directed for both theater and film. On stage, he produced and directed Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love” and Terrence McNally’s “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” in NYC. His one-act plays include “Acoustic Space,” “Another Famous Dead Artist” (semi-finalist, 2015 New York New Works Festival), and the upcoming “Max & Domino.” At Center Players, Marinelli directed a staged reading of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and David Mamet’s “Speed-the-Plow” as well as full productions of Woody Allen’s “Play It Again, Sam” and Neil Simon’s “Chapter Two.” His latest screenplay, “Books, Beds and Baths,” was a finalist in the HollyShorts Film Festival Screenplay Competition and is a semi-finalist for the Screen Craft Film Fund. Another project on the horizon is a web series to be filmed in the area, titled, “Simple Things.” Marinelli is also the co-founder of post-production company, TwoPoint0 ( He resides in Manalapan with his wife and three children.

Celebrating its 17th season at Center Playhouse, Center Players is a respected, award-winning 501(c)3 organization, presenting high quality, engaging productions featuring local talent in historic downtown Freehold. In addition to their signature plays, the group also sponsors free play reading events and offers dinner and theater packages with several local restaurants.

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