Thursday, September 3, 2009

Screenwriter finds muse 'West of BK'



By Tiffany Yannetta

For those looking for inspiration, the typical command is to go west.

For Ronnie Marmo, he does just that in his new film, “West of Brooklyn.”

The film, written and produced by Marmo, a native of Woodbridge, NJ, and directed by Danny Cistone, follows a young Italian-American, Sebi, who leaves Brooklyn after the death of his mother, and rejoins his New York group of friends who have recently moved to LA.

However, on the opposite side of the country, Sebi finds himself the odd man out, and has difficulty adapting to his California surroundings.

Marmo will premiere his new film “West of Brooklyn” in Red Bank, NJ on September 9 and 10.

In “West of Brooklyn,” Marmo plays the role of Sebi, with Liz Torres as Sebi’s mother, Natalia Livingston, as Maddy, a rich girl from Beverly Hills, and Joe Mantegna, as famous Bronx poet Gaetano D’Amico.

The supporting characters in the film help Sebi come to terms with his changing identity and find the courage to be himself in a new environment.

“West of Brooklyn” was written by Marmo, so it is no coincidence that many of the events are autobiographical.

“When I began to write ‘West of Brooklyn,’” Marmo said, “it was simply to get some thoughts out of my head.”

Sebi’s experiences of dealing with the passing of his mother are based directly on Marmo’s own life and experiences when he was in L.A.

“I spent quite a bit of time alone and I found that I was still very much grieving the death of my mom, who I loved more than any person in the world,” Marmo said.

The film draws much of its inspiration from New York culture, as well as the lifestyles of Italian-Americans. Marmo says one of his goals with “West of Brooklyn” was to highlight the heartfelt, familial experiences of Italian Americans, not the stereotypes.

“People are fascinated with Italians, but mostly they only know the stereotypes- the mafia, gangsters, criminals,” he said. “I wanted to show the other side- the good families and the good people who happen to be Italian-American.”

Marmo is currently the artistic director of the 68 Cent Crew Theater Company in LA, and is also currently appearing as Ronnie Dimestico on the soap-opera “General Hospital.”

He has appeared in such movies as “Deuces Wild,” “Crocodile Dundee in LA,” and “Volare.” He will also star in two upcoming films, “Limbo Lounge,” which he produced, and “Pizza with Bullets.” Both films are in post-production and will be released in 2010.

The premiere will be held at Clearview’s Redbank Theatre in New Jersey, and will run on September 9 and 10 at 8 p.m. For more information on the movie, including tickets to the premiere, visit www.westofbrooklynthemovie.com.

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