Face Painters

Face Painters, a weaving double narrative, multi-generational saga.

Brooklyn 1963. Luca Gravetti (80) is losing his battle with dementia, and Buono (41), a masterful casket maker and full-blown illiterate must juggle both the family’s ailing funeral home and his dear father. When the IRS comes knocking and the bank repossesses the hearse, Buono gives in and reluctantly looks up his estranged brother, Michael—with all the smarts of a Wall Street whiz kid but plagued by booze and racist dogma. The two immediately clash over how best to run the business—by Buono’s traditional ways, or with Michael’s modern-day vanity of profits above all. Meanwhile, an infamous event triggers one last memory in Luca, setting him off on a journey of love and redemption.

Tuscany 1928. Buono (6) reminisces about his whimsical childhood, and his family’s last days before immigrating to America. Luca (45), a lowly store clerk, has one last chance to finally gain the respect of Leo, his hard-nosed capitalist father, by rebuilding a chapel for the impoverished peasants, but when a scheming bishop demands even more, a local strong-arm is rebuffed. Luca disregards his father’s dire warnings, seduced by the praise of the villagers and ignoring the ominous powers heading their way. This culminates in one of the most traumatic experiences Buono can remember as a child, a life-changing event that makes him and his family an even greater target for revenge and catapults him to manhood well beyond his grasp.

  • Giovanni Sanseviero
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Pittori di Volti
  • Project Type:
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • 21st Annual Moondance Intl. Film Festival
    Boulder, Colorado
    November 1, 2020
    Best Feature Screenplay of 2020
  • London Independent Film Awards
    London, England
    March 27, 2020
    Best Original Screenplay Feature
  • Los Angeles Reel Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    May 1, 2020
    Honorable Mention Award
  • Dreamanila Intl. Film Festival
    Manila, Philippines
    May 10, 2020
    Best Unproduced Screenplay
  • Queen Palm Intl. Film Festival
    Palm Springs, CA
    June 11, 2020
    Silver Award Winner, Best Dialogue Feature Script
  • The Indie Gathering International Film Festival
    Cleveland, OH 44102
    July 1, 2020
    Honorable Mention Award
  • Kosice Intl. Monthly Film Festival
    Košický kraj, Slovakia
    February 11, 2021
    Best Feature Script, Best First-Time Screenwriter (Feature)
  • 11th Annual Los Angeles Movie Awards
    Los Angeles, CA
    September 18, 2020
    Honorable Mention Award
  • 12th Annual Williamsburg Intl. Film & Music Competition
    Brooklyn, NY
    September 22, 2020
    1st Place Screenplay Competition
  • Northern Virginia Intl. Film & Music Festival
    Fairfax, VA
    March 29, 2020
    Nominated, Best Screenplay Drama
  • Los Angeles Film and Script Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    November 7, 2020
    Honorable Mention Award
  • Bergen Intl. Film Festival
    Bergen, NJ
    August 5, 2020
    Nominated, Best Unproduced Screenplay
  • Lonely Wolf: London Intl. Film Festival
    London, England
    November 1, 2020
    Nominated, Best Unproduced Screenplay
  • KinoDrome Motion Picture & Screenplay Festival
    Cleveland, OH
    September 27, 2020
    Bronze Award Feature Screenplay Competition
  • Toronto Indie Film Awards
    Toronto, Canada
    April 20, 2020
    Nominated, Best Feature Screenplay
  • Prague Intl. Film Festival
    Prague, Czech Republic
    January 9, 2021
    Best Feature Script
  • World Cinema, Milan
    Milan, Italy
    December 5, 2020
    Best Unproduced Script
  • Thinking Hat Fiction Challenge
    Punjab, India
    November 19, 2020
    Best Feature Screenplay Dialogue
  • 8th Annual Northeast Film Festival
    Teaneck, NJ
    December 5, 2020
    Best Unproduced Screenplay Feature
  • Metropolitan Film Festival of NYC LA
    Los Angeles, CA
    January 4, 2021
    Honorable Mention Award
  • Gold Star Movie Awards
    Newark, NJ
    January 3, 2021
    Best Dramatic Screenplay
  • American Filmatic Arts Awards
    New York, NY
    February 22, 2021
    Best Historical Feature Screenplay
  • Screenwriting Sage Contest
    United Kingdom
    March 8, 2021
    Honorable Mention Award
  • Rome International Movie Awards
    Rome, Italy
    March 6, 2021
    Best Original Screenplay
  • Bridge Fest. 2021
    Vancouver Canada
    April 27, 2021
    Honorable Mention Award
  • Birmingham Film & Television Festival
    Stafford, UK
    March 17, 2021
    Best Feature Script
  • New Delhi Film Festival
    New Delhi, India
    March 13, 2021
    Nominated, Best Dramatic Feature
  • Film Boxe Intl. Monthly Film Festival
    Miami, Fl
    March 13, 2021
    Honorable Mention Award
  • Silver Mask Live Festival
    LA, CA
    May 1, 2021
    Best Original Concept
  • Eurasia Intl. Film Festival
    Federation of Russia
    June 24, 2021
    Best Feature Screenplay
  • Screen Power, 2021
    London, UK
    April 27, 2021
    Honorable Mention Award
  • Chhatrapati SHIVAJI Intl. Film Festival
    Maharashtra, India
    May 30, 2021
    Best Feature Screenwriter
  • Niagara Canada International Film Festival (NIFF)
    Niagara Falls, Ontario
    June 1, 2021
    Honorable Mention
  • Golden Wheat Awards
    June 20, 2021
    Best Feature Screenplay
  • Druk International Film Festival
    Bhutan, South Asia
    June 1, 2021
    Outstanding Achievement Award
  • 1st Monthly Film Festival (May)
    Belgrade, Srb.
    May 1, 2021
    3rd Place, Best Feature Script
  • Art Film Awards
    June 5, 2021
    Best Feature Screenplay
  • Cult Critic Movie Awards
    West Bengal, India
    June 14, 2021
    Best Feature Screenplay, June 2021
  • Indo-French Intl. Film Festival
    June 24, 2021
    2nd Place, Best Long Form Screenplay
  • World Film Carnival
    June 19, 2021
    Critics’ Choice Award
  • Virgin Spring Cinefest
    United Kingdom
    June 14, 2021
    Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Golden Nugget Intl. Film Festival
    London, United Kingdom
    June 17, 2021
    Best Feature Screenplay/TV Script
  • World Film Carnival
    June 22, 2021
    Best Treatment / Synopsis Winner
  • Tagore Intl. Film Festival
    Birbhum, In
    July 1, 2021
    Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Pacific Beach Film Festival
    Pacific Beach, CA
    July 1, 2021
    Best US Screenplay
  • 5th Annual Cinema New York City
    NYC, NY
    July 10, 2021
    Best Screenplay
  • The Oaks Film Festival
    Agoura, CA
    June 12, 2021
    Best Screenplay
  • The Macoproject Film Festival
    NYC, NY
    July 10, 2021
    Honorable Mention
  • New York Independent Cinema Awards
    NYC, NY
    July 13, 2021
    Best Unproduced Screenplay
  • San Francisco Film festival
    San Francisco, CA
    July 13, 2021
    Best Feature Screenplay
  • INFLUX Film Awards
    Huntington Beach, CA
    July 20, 2021
    Long Format Screenplay Winner
  • Cannes Independent Film Festival
    Cannes, France
    July 21, 2021
    Best Screenplay (Festival Director's Award)
  • Channel Islands Intl. Film Awards
    Channel Islands, CA
    July 12, 2021
    Best US Screenplay, 2021
Writer Biography - Giovanni Sanseviero

A native of Long Island, NY, and primarily a carpenter his entire adult life, Giovanni Sanseviero is also a multi-award-winning actor, having first begun his NY training with the Gene Frankel Theatre, followed by the Lee Strasberg Theatre in Los Angeles. His relentless desire in having to act first caught the eyes of New York Times writer, Bernard Stamler, who, while walking his dog in SOHO, caught a glimpse of Giovanni living out of his whopping house-on-wheels, a custom, hand-built RV that Giovanni designed and built to take on the road to literally live by the theatres and on the many movie productions he found himself cast in. Often presumed as part of the crew and mistakenly given sought-after parking permits, Giovanni loved putting in long days and nights and knowing his home was just a few steps away — and hopefully by craft service! Even Oscar-winning cinematographer, John Seale, enjoyed hanging out in the big rig, although he thought the lighting sucked! Wanting to be as close as possible to this thespian world, Giovanni remarked, “I really can’t get any closer than this.” tinyurl.com/3aaz967t

After discovering an abandoned building in NYC, Giovanni was inspired to write, produce, design, and star in "The Empty Building," a forty-two-minute 16mm featurette about a mystical building people found themselves at in order to find closure to past traumatic events. Empty Building received critical acclaim in over sixty film festivals and numerous universities and private venues throughout the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, South Africa, and Australia while also receiving over thirty production and acting awards throughout its run and — mama, many speeding tickets chasing down the festival entries coast to coast!
imdb.com/title/tt0402991 tinyurl.com/2ar4t8mz

Giovanni has since returned to his carpentry and construction managing projects, and in between has penned a half-dozen scripts for both stage and screen, most recently going public with his first feature titled, “Face Painters,” one boy’s search for the American dream and the lifetime it took to achieve. This weaving dual-narrative, multi-generational saga has been doing fine with the worldwide festival circuit; as of June 2021, garnering 119 writing competition entries and surpassing fifty award recognitions in essentially every screenplay category possible — and the list keeps growing!

Giovanni Sanseviero is currently seeking representation...and a gas card.


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Writer Statement

At first, Face Painters, originally coined “Immigrants” circa 2004, was a notebook of recollections I gathered from my parents in my attempt at an Italian immigrant journey stage play. My siblings and I loved the stage; the stage was in our family’s lineage, our parents at one time being opera singers and practitioners of the bel canto era. And as Italian immigrants themselves, they had firsthand experience of this much-desired American dream.

Their stories always had the same collective theme; the destitute in search of a better life, but my mom — beaten down with her own hard-earned wisdom — would pointedly add that not everyone pursuing the American dream got what they had hoped for. Sadly, for some, what little life they had before stepping on that transatlantic steamship would in fact have proven the better life. And as the years in America struggled on for these fallen dreamers, there would never be a way for them to make believe that their journey was just an actual dream, an actual bad dream that they could wake up from and finally rid themselves of a life of torturous denial. No, too much hard reality had already passed, what’s done was done, and with a shrinking sense of sanity, these unfortunate immigrants struggled through decades of space and time, continuing to diminish with regret until their last breathing moment.

I found this hidden insight very intriguing, as if I was let in on a little secret, a sort of spin on the presumption that just because a family packed their bags and headed for the New World, this journey for their American dream would in all cases lead to a better future. This was to be a stirring theme for a great story, my take on the American dream and the irony of leaving behind what was truly a better life; even if poor in your pockets but still rich in soul and conscience, how this great life would be thrown away because of greed, or a desperateness, or simple stupidity over having to blindly leave. And even more, instead of a slew of errors tragically disrupting peace and a prosperous future, how one mistake, how simply one wrong decision could bring one’s self and an entire family’s world to bitter pieces.

This was the geneses of my story, of one’s American Dream, a man by the name of Luca, and his one dire decision, his one finite decision to sadly do something he alone chose to do, and the trajectory his entire family suffered because of this. And for one, his elder son, Buono, how he would struggle through the decades until almost a century later, until finally accepting his father’s past and what that did to him and his family, and in victory, finally achieving the dream his father ultimately sought and failed to do himself — achieving the great American dream... This is Face Painters.