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Jeff Celentano Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (6) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 24 May 1960New Jersey, USA
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jeff Celentano was born and raised in Pemberton, New Jersey, a small rural town with towering maple trees and its very own "Main Street". Jeff says, "Pemberton looks more like a back lot at Disney than a suburb in Southern New Jersey".

Celentano began his career as an actor while living on the east coast. Today, he is fast becoming one of the freshest new directors in Hollywood. The actor, turned writer-director has managed to effectively combine comedy, drama and action with his own personalized style.

At 21, the New Jersey native left the Garden State moving to New York. There he became interested in acting, studying with legendary acting coach Stella Adler and later became a long-time student of Sanford Meisner at The Neighborhood Playhouse.

As an actor, Jeff went by his mother's maiden name, Weston. He guest starred on numerous television shows from Magnum, P.I. (1980) to Dynasty (1981) and also twenty feature films including The New Age (1994) directed by Academy Award winning writer Michael Tolkin. He also was cast in Robert Altman's hit film, The Player (1992).

It was during this time with Altman on set of "The Player" that Jeff became increasingly interested in becoming a director. He and Altman became close. Robert Altman's advice to Jeff is carried with him to all of his work today.

Fascinated by the behind-the-scenes aspects of filmmaking and hopes of one day becoming a director himself, Celentano's first venture was in theatre. He co-directed and produced the South African Play "Soweto's Burning" at the Hudson Backstage. The critically acclaimed production earned the Los Angeles Times "Pick of the Weekend" for five consecutive weeks.

Jeff then made his writing and directing debut with the short film Dickwad (1994) - a fast paced farce about a man's bizarre journey home from work on his only day off in seventeen years. The short, which took Celentano just less than a week to make, garnered the Gold Prize for Best Original Comedy at The Houston Film Festival, and Best Comedy Short at The Philadelphia International Film Festival. After touring the festival circuit "Dickwad" was brought by Showtime and the Sundance channel.

The strong buzz from the film led to enormous attention from the studio and the signing with ICM. From that success Jeff received private funding to head up his own production company, "Periscope Pictures".

His first feature under the Periscope banners (which he also co-wrote) was Under the Hula Moon (1995). This picture starred Stephen Baldwin, Emily Lloyd and Chris Penn. "Under the Hula Moon" is a romantic comedy, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995 and had much with European film festivals. It premiered at The Hamburg Film Festival in Germany becoming a hit with audiences there. Hula moon was later released in theaters across the U.S.

Jeff's next project was Gunshy (1998), a high-impact drama (written by Larry Gross who also wrote 48 Hrs. (1982), Streets of Fire (1984) and The Game (1997)). Gunshy's story centers around the relationship between a down-and-out journalist (William Petersen), an Irish mobster (Michael Wincott) and the girl they both love (Diane Lane).

Jeff's determination, passion and attention to detail paid off once more. He won "Best Director Award" with "Gunshy", the top honor presented at The Atlantic City International Film Festival. Gunshy aced the competition with the audience favoring a simpler, more emotionally charged tale to the bigger studio entries like Brian De Palma's film Snake Eyes (1998). In total, Jeff has received 5 awards in his short career as a Director.

Jeff has completed directing two films in Russia. The later, Say It in Russian (2007) a romantic thriller that stars Faye Dunaway, Rade Serbedzija, Musetta Vander and Steven Brand.

Jeff recently wrapped Breaking Point (2009) a crime/drama starring Academy Award nominee, Tom Berenger, Armand Assante, and Busta Rhymes.

He currently has several projects in the pipeline including a film at Sony Pictures and several independent projects.

Jeff is also the Drama Director at The Performer's Academy located in Orange County, California. There Jeff oversees as well as teaches acting to children, teens, and adults. The school provides students with the opportunity to work with film directors, producers, working actors and can be seen by agents on a weekly basis. His contacts in the entertainment industry have allowed the school to flourish as a training academy - while providing agents the ability to scout and potentially represent new talent.

Jeff's influences and favorite directors are The Coen Brothers, Robert Zemeckis, Ridley Scott, Terry Gilliam, Peter Greenaway, Sidney Lumet, Martin Scorsese and David Lean. One movie, The Deer Hunter (1978) is his favorite film of all time.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: anonymous

Spouse (1)

Musetta Vander (1988 - present)

Trivia (6)

Now directs under his birth name, Jeff Celentano.
Attended Houston college then went to the New York Film Academy for Acting news.
For the past two years he has been the Drama Director of The Performer's Academy in Orange County (Laguna Hills). He has been responsible for bringing professional level acting workshops taught by himself and other film directors and working actors to the students of this Orange County academy. [April 2006]
New York, NY, USA: Pre-production Breaking Point (2009). [December 2006]
In Hoboken NJ/NYC: Directing Breaking Point (2009). A crime/drama/thriller written by Vincent Campanella. This film stars Academy Award Nominated Actor, Tom Berenger, Busta Rhymes, Armand Assante, Sticky Fingaz, and Musetta Vander. [April 2007]
Currently in pre-production on his new film, Once Upon a Time in Paris. [August 2005]

Personal Quotes (2)

Acting is looking through the keyhole of someone's house and observing life.
Acting and getting a job are two different things.

See also

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