How does a Jersey City Police Officer become an award winning filmmaker? Vito LaBruno grew up with a passion for film and began screen-writing in 2004. “I had done a little theater and acting in high school,” said LaBruno. “I auditioned for a lead role in A Bronx Tale, and I even got a few callbacks. But I always had ideas for scripts. In 2006 I decided to take a script-writing workshop and the teacher sent my script to Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz). He actually wrote me back. He said he really liked the script and the plot and he wrote back to me and gave me a lot of pointers on things I could do to improve it and make it into something a producer might be interested in.” Vito decided to enhance his skills as a screenwriter by studying with a writing coach. In 2011, he wrote and directed a short film Business is Dead. The film has garnered 3 film festival awards, including Best Short (Audience award), Best Short (Jury award) and Best Director. The success of Business is Dead lead Vito to write, direct, and produce his first feature film, a romantic comedy titled The Last American Guido which was shot in the fall of 2012 in several NJ cities including Hoboken, Jersey City, Bayonne, Nutley and Maywood. Inspired by his older brothers, LaBruno said he dreamed up the storyline when imagining what life would be like for a guido living in a world that has passed him by as he struggles to be true to himself. The Last American Guido premiered in 2013 at the Loew’s Landmark Theater in Jersey City and was also screened at the Garden State Film Festival in 2014. After the interview, please check After Hours at Jersey Coastal Live for more info.
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