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”).
“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.
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.”