Children play stickball in the streets and parents think nothing of scolding their neighbor’s kids as if they were their own. This is an area where the Italian traditions of family, church, and loyalty are intimately intertwined.
Playing gin on a hot summer day during the Feast of Our Lady of Blessed Sorrow, we meet Santo Bastucci, a vice president at a local savings and loan. Santo is a family man who has an uncanny ability for keeping numbers in his head and a reputation for loyalty. Traits that did not go unnoticed by the Capo of the Brooklyn mob, Manny “ The Hand” Mistera.
Manny has a reputation of being a true friend to the neighborhood and an animal if crossed. A man who makes his major decisions by consulting an ephemeris (a tool used by astrologers to calculate the position of astronomical objects at specific dates and times), Manny is losing his grip on a neighborhood that is slowly but surely becoming more diverse. The traditions and loyalties that made his way of life at one time impregnable, is slowly eroding with his counterpart’s lack of devotion to “Omerta” and the government’s use of a brand new statute called, “RICO.” Manny could use a man like Santo.
Manny arranges to meet Santo’s through his dim witted soldier, Benny who has a special relationship with Santo…he’s his father-in-law. Under the guise of asking Santo to cash bogus cashiers’ checks at his bank, Manny tests his mettle. Santo, much to his displeasure, passes with flying colors and endears himself to Manny, much like his deceased father before him.
Manny has one problem; he now is in the cross hairs of the real power in Williamsburg, Father Matteo Bastucci, the Pastor of Our Lady of Blessed Sorrows Church and Santo’s uncle. A former wiseguy, Matteo has no problem shooting dice for the poor or holding some illegal gambling in the rectory knowing that the parish will get a vig. He runs his parish with efficiency and respect, which gives a glimpse of how he would have fared if he stayed the course as a wiseguy.
As Santo tries to walk the thin line of legitimate banker, loyal son-in-law and part time gangster, he realizes that each decision we make has consequences, not just for ourselves but for those around us. And taking the righteous path is not that easy, especially when there is a gun in your face.
Set in 1973 Williamsburg, the crime drama sees Ballers’ Troy Garity as the titular character who has a knack for memorizing numbers and avoiding crime — until he gets tangled in the affairs of his cagey father-in-law, played by Paul Sorvino.
Set in 1973 Williamsburg Brooklyn, THE BROOKLYN BANKER, written by Michael Ricigliano Jr., weaves the story of Santo Bastucci (Troy Garity), a neighborhood banker with two rare gifts – one for memorizing numbers, the other for sidestepping a career saturated in underworld crime that most of his childhood friends chose.
The Giglio festival will dance its way onto the silver screen in the new mob film “The Brooklyn Banker,” opening Aug. 5. The flick, which follows a bank official from Williamsburg with ties to a local organized crime family, features scenes set during the 113-year-old Italian-American festival, and to get the right look, filmmakers went right to the source, said the film’s producer.
A former “Sopranos” actor is focusing on Brooklyn in his latest effort, his first full-length feature as a director. Federico Castelluccio, who is best known for his work as an actor, is primed to release “The Brooklyn Banker,” a movie he directed.
Five years ago Michael Ricigliano had an idea for a script, and decided he never wanted to lament what might have been. Taking care of his part from his basement as a Long Island lawyer, the old adage of who you know got him to the next step.
Federico Castelluccio is a multifaceted individual maintaining three careers, as a professional artist, established actor and since 2006 has added directing to his repertoire.
Currently, Castelluccio has been making his mark behind the camera, by writing and directing films which have garnered him awards for his work as a director. Most recently, Federico directed the feature film, THE BROOKLYN BANKER written by Michael Ricigliano, starring David Proval, Troy Garity, Paul Sorvino and Elisabeth Masucci, A TV project titled OUTCALL, written by Joe Mancini and Tom Gillchrist.
Other award winning films written and directed by Castelluccio include the short films, KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER with Peter Greene, Yvonne Maria Schaefer, William Sadler and Manny Perez. FORGET ME NOT, LILY OF THE FEAST and TRACKS OF COLOR, with Manny Perez, Elizabeth Rodriguez and David Castro. Castelluccio is currently writing and developing several feature film projects that he will be directing.
Federico began his career as an actor in 1986. Some of his TV and film credits include: THE SOPRANOS, where he played Italian enforcer Furio Giunta, the feature film MADE with Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn, NYPD BLUE, LAW & ORDER and DRAGON DYNASTY a made for TV movie, which aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. Castelluccio played Channing Tatum’s father in A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and received two awards – one for best dramatic directing and best dramatic ensemble headed by Robert Downey Jr., Chazz Palminteri and Rosario Dawson.
Other film projects include EL CANTANTE with Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, AFTERMATH, a crime-thriller with Anthony Michael Hall and Chris Penn, and Lucky Days, with Angelica Torn.
Castelluccio’s most recent acting credits include, THE TOY GUN (2016) directed by Marco Serafini, with Julian Sands, Anthony Lapaglia, John Hanna and Luke Allen Gale. He is the voice of Antonio Corsi in the upcoming documentary of a late 19th century painter’s model, titled THE PRINCE OF MODELS. Federico starred in the award winning feature, LEAVES OF A TREE, directed by Ante Novakovic, CONTRORA directed by Rosella di Venuto, THE DECOY BRIDE a romantic comedy, directed by Sheree Folkson starring David Tenant, filmed entirely on location in Scotland and the Isle of Mann. BRUTAL a New York drama directed by Kamal Ahmed, KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER and LILY OF THE FEAST both directed by Castelluccio.
As an artist, Castelluccio continues to paint and exhibit his work in the US and abroad.
Michael Ricigliano, Jr. successfully balances two careers at once. In recent years he developed a career as a writer and film/theater producer, while also still practicing law in New York.
The Brooklyn Banker is the feature length version of the short film called Lily of the Feast that Ricigliano also penned and produced. The short won the “Best Short Film” award at the 2011 Long Island International Film Expo, “Best Director -Short” Long Island International Film Festival, Golden Door Film Festival, Williamsburg Independent Film Festival, the award for “Creative Vision” (Castelluccio) at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, “Best Actor” (Castelluccio) Golden Door Film Festival and “Best Ensemble” Orlando International Film Festival.
2015 also saw the successful run of Ricigliano’s critically acclaimed off Broadway play, A Queen for a Day, which premiered at the Theater at Saint Clements on West 46th Street.
Ricigliano has written scripts for several other film and television projects in various stages of development including Brooklyn Law, The Scorpion Tale, The Devil’s Banker and Created Equal based on the book by R.A. Brown.
Jeffrey H. Schneider is a business transactional attorney, practicing in New York City in excess of 40 years and focusing on the structuring and organization of businesses in a wide variety of industries including the entertainment industry, and the negotiation of deals and drafting of agreements in corporate, entertainment, real estate and other business transactions. In the entertainment industry, Jeff has represented independent production companies as well as individual talent in film, television and music and a number of years ago decided to pursue and fulfill a lifelong passion to be in the entertainment business and produce film, theater and television properties.
Craig Cohen is a partner at the New York City law firm of McCue Sussmane Zapfel Cohen & Youbi, P.C. A 1992 graduate of Brooklyn Law School, Craig took an unconventional route-entering the mailroom at International Creative Management-quickly rising through the ranks and becoming a talent agent. Craig spent nine years as an agent, ultimately joining Abrams Artists Agency in New York where he helped propel and guide the careers of young talent such as Zach Braff and Kerry Washington.
Craig has also produced and/or executive produced a number of feature films including Southern Belles starring Anna Faris and Justin Chambers, Beware The Gonzo starring Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz and Amy Sedaris, and Puncture starring Chris Evans.
TJ Sansone is a New York based, creative professional that is consistently working in the film and television community.
His talents have afforded him the echelons of Director, Producer, and Assistant Director on countless productions, big and small. As an assistant director, he has worked on as many as 300 commercials and on air promos for companies like ESPN, Samsung, MTV, VH1, State Farm, Xbox, Hewlett Packard, Kodak and Adobe.
His television credits span from Chopped, Next Food Network Star, Millionaire Matchmaker, Scouted and several other shows.