Ten-minute short stars Laval comedian/actor Massimo Cannistraro
The filmmaking duo of David Magini and Joe Rossi, with support from Laval-raised comedian/actor Massimo Cannistraro and up-and-coming screenwriter Anthony Calabrese, have managed to produce another award-winning feature film short, adding to their growing list of accomplishments on the Canadian film scene.
The team’s latest effort, Night Shift, a nearly 10-minute dramatic film shot in Montreal and Laval, was recently nominated for a few awards at two Toronto movie fests – the Couch Film Festival and the Alternative Film Festival (ALTFF).
Things go wrong
Night Shift is a gritty little movie about a mafia “clean up” specialist, who is also an ex-Canadian Forces soldier. His life is turned upside down when an impersonal contract killing he agrees to undertake inadvertently overlaps with personal circumstances.
In the lead role is Cannistraro. Rossi and Magini are both originally from Laval, and Calabrese works here. Others who made significant contributrions to the film were Julie Barbeau, Dale Hayes, Tony Calabretta, Anita Maiezza and Guido Grasso. Calabrese wrote the script with Joe Rossi, and making the film was an overall collaborative effort involving everyone.
Packs a lot of punch
Despite Night Shift’s abbreviated length, the film manages to pack enough energy to make quite an emotional statement. If the level of violence might seem to some viewers somewhat extreme, that could be attributed, at least partly, to Calabrese’s stylistic fondness for 1970s-era “vengeance” films like Death Wish starring Charles Bronson.
In that line of films, the main character (usually Bronson) gets violent revenge on criminals and thugs who’ve seriously wronged him or his loved ones. “One of my favourite actors is Charles Bronson, and I’ve always liked revenge stories,” said Calabrese.
The path to success
Calabrese is the founder of Lonely Path Films, which produced Night Shift and several previous film projects. Released in 2018, The Engagement, a 15-minute dramatic short, won an audience appreciation award, as well as a best actress award, at the Let’s Make a Movie Film Festival at the Cinéma du Parc in Montreal.
Thespian, released last year, has been shown and promoted, as have the other films, on the Canadian short film festival circuit where it also has done well. “It’s really a team effort,” Calabrese added regarding the fundamental principles that continue to guide Lonely Path Films on its way to bigger successes.