22 Feb CannMed 2017 to Premiere Film Created by 16-year-old Cancer Patient with Help of Hollywood & Johnny Depp
CannMed is proud to announce that it will host a red carpet event followed by a screening of “The Black Ghiandola”, a film co-written by Anthony Conti, a Walpole, MA teen who in January lost his battle with a rare form of adrenal gland cancer, which he partially treated with medical cannabis. The event will take place on April 10 at The Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School.
The film was made possible thanks to the Make a Film Foundation — a nonprofit organization that grants film wishes to children with serious or life-threatening medical conditions by teaming them with noted actors, writers, directors, and producers who help them to create short film legacies. The film is the foundation’s fourth short narrative and includes many A-List stars who donated their time to work on the film, including Directors: Sam Raimi (Spiderman Trilogy), Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Ted Melfi (Hidden Figures), and Actors: Johnny Depp, David Lynch, J.K. Simmons, Laura Dern, Penelope Ann Miller, Richard Chamberlain, Jade Pettyjohn, Chad L. Coleman and others. Anthony’s writing partners/mentors included Scott Kosar (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice).
The Black Ghiandola is a zombie-horror adventure with Anthony playing the leading role. Some of the film’s content is derived from Anthony’s struggle with his illness. The title uses the Italian word for adrenal gland, ghiandola, and in the film, the infection that turns everyday people into blood-thirsty zombies starts in the adrenal gland.
“What I love about Anthony and his story and his script is that he is channeling what is going on in his personal life with his health into his art which I think is very cathartic and is very healing,” said Theodore Melfi, Director of the Academy Award Nominated film Hidden Figures. “It’s very touching to me and how he is bringing it into his art is really inspiring.
Although some of the film’s content is derived from Anthony’s illness, Make a Film Foundation founder Tamika Lamison explains that this is not a film about cancer.
“His film has nothing to do with cancer. It’s him making his film, his way,” Lamison said.
Anthony developed a passion for acting and writing at a young age, enrolling in his first acting class at age 9. That passion never faded. In the summer of 2016, just after he received his diagnosis, he reached out to the Make a Film Foundation to help bring his creative vision to life.
The project went before cameras in November, marking the fastest preproduction and production schedule in Make a Film Foundation’s history. It was all thanks to Anthony’s passion and the talent who generously donated their time.
“Anthony had a passion for filmmaking and a wonderful dream that filled him with life and hope even on his toughest days,” said Adele Rene, Casting Director/Producer. “In our last conversation, he lit up as we discussed adding the final touches to his film. Cancer took his body, but it never touched his creative spirit.”
The red carpet event and screening will provide an opportunity for Anthony’s friends and family in the Boston area to view his creation on the big screen and celebrate his life, along with members of the cast and crew who worked on the project. Lamison will introduce the film and there will also be a brief question and answer session with her and other members of the cast and crew following the film.
Tickets to the event are free and there will be an opportunity for attendees to donate to the Make a Film Foundation to cover the costs for finishing Anthony’s film while exiting the theater.
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Make a Film Foundation is a 501(c)3 org that is entirely run by volunteers and financed by donations and in-kind services. More information about Conti’s film can be found here. Donations to help cover the finishing costs for the film can be made directly to Make A Film Foundation at www.makeafilmfoundation.org or via their GoFundMe campaign.