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Johnny Depp, David Lynch, J.K. Simmons Join Zombie Film Made by Teen Cancer Patient

"The Black Ghiandola" was produced by Make a Film Foundation.

Johnny Depp

Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock

With a little help from friends, Make a Film Foundation has brought a 16-year-old cancer patient’s zombie thriller to life. Johnny Depp, David Lynch, J.K. Simmons and Laura Dern are among the stars of Anthony Conti’s “The Black Ghiandola,” a short film directed by the trio of Sam Raimi, Catherine Hardwicke and Ted Melfi; Conti (who also stars) wrote the project alongside Scott Kosar (“Texas Chainsaw Massacre”) and Wash Westmoreland (“Still Alice”).

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“Anthony is an alchemist — there was magic happening all around the set,” Tamika Lamison, who founded Make a Film Foundation in 2007, told the Hollywood Reporter. “It was like a magnet that kept attracting the best in so many people and attracting the extraordinary ‘yes’ at every turn.” Conti is living with stage IV adrenal cortical cancer.

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Penelope Ann Miller, Richard Chamberlain, Jade Pettyjohn, Chad Coleman, Pritesh Shah and Keith Allan co-star in the short film, which was shot in November and produced on a faster schedule than another project in the nonprofit’s history. “What I love about Anthony is his courage, his sense of humor, his profound sense of self, his huge heart and intensity as a human being and a filmmaker” added Lamison. “We are all better for having Anthony Conti invite us to be a part of his life and his film.”

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