“As a teller of narratives set in a broad range of genres, I think of myself as being part of a very old and very true tradition. That’s how I would like to be remembered – as the creator of films about reinvention, each full of wonderful characters, provocative endings, and non-tragic themes.”
There is little doubt that no writer could be more at home in the dramatic and humorous worlds created in his screenplays and films than, Giacinto Leonado Maselli, himself. Of Italian descent, Mr. Maselli traces his family’s arrival in California to the latter part of the great Gold Rush years. As a boy growing up in the small foothill community of Porterville, California, he absorbed all he could about his family’s enterprising and multi-generational heritage (the ranching and processing of olives, olive oil and Italian food products), including the loving, non-stop, old world humor and philosophizing that was always mixed into the exciting and passionate family life around him.
As scriptwriter, Mr. Maselli’s first feature-length tale was SPIRITED WEST – a historical screenplay adapted from Mark Twain’s “Roughing It.” Next came ALIENHOTLINE.COM - a Sci-Fi Comedy: in East L.A where illegal aliens, from across our borders and from across our galaxy, are changing life as we know it. That was followed by the action/comedy THE CONVICT’S WIFE: Danny is haunted by his mother’s deathbed plea to find an Italian wife. What he learns is that the best part of repentance is actually a little sinning. Maselli’s lyrical-drama/romance BELLA FANTASMA (BEAUTIFUL PHANTOM) is a story of adventure, magic and true love: Lat escapes New York in search of physical and emotional sanctuary. His path takes him to his Southern Italian roots where he finds a medieval village populated only by women and harboring a legendary highwaywoman. Mr. Maselli’s most recent feature is dubbed MS. ME. Set in California’s olive country, it studies the humorous roles people play in their everyday slippery existence and what can happen when life throws them an unexpected, extra-virgin, and narcissist curve ball. His next work, BAKONGO CROSS, takes place in Italy: When an aspiring archaeologist is pulled into the high-stakes world of precious art theft, he must contend for his survival with African Nationalists and the Vatican. Maselli’s current work-in-progress is a sci/fi set in the near future: A CURIOUS ABSENCE OF EXTERNAL CONTROL where a retired warrior protagonist states the theme: “It’s not important that we have freewill. All we need is the illusion of freewill.”
As a writer-director, Maselli’s first writing collaboration, a short called A LOVELY ADULT BEVERAGE, won first prize at the Caligari Narrative Screenwriting Competition. In 2014 it was produced with Mr. Maselli as Director and premiered at San Francisco’s Castro Theater in early 2015. The film tells an unexpected love story that begins when Carlos witnesses a blind date going sour. He immediately recognizes the opportunity for a foray into new territory. Currently under construction is Maselli’s first feature film: the anthology of films entitled CA SHORTS. His cinematic stories are about the legendary possibilities available to those who will choose California as a place where they can start over again; where they can reinvent themselves; where the possibility of reinvention is the strongest magnet of all. Now nearing the completion of postproduction is a short film called INDULGENCE that tells the story of an already emotionally unbalanced old man and a desperate damsel in distress who tumbles into his life. Again. After 35 years. Before the end of this calendar year two additional films TAMALE and HAPPY GOAT will join A LOVELY ADULT BEVERAGE and INDULGENCE and be released as a feature under the CA SHORTS banner.