The Curse of Don Scarducci

Life is good for Don, a rough and tumble mobster, until the day he discovers his intolerance to gluten, and can no longer enjoy the staples of his everyday mobster diet. As his food habits change, so do his demeanor and lifestyle, but it all goes south when his mob family discovers his new life.

  • Chris Fondulas
  • Chris Fondulas
  • Chris Fondulas
  • Jessie Hoyt
  • James Canty
  • Brady Kirchberg
    Tied Up, How to Get into any Party, Still
  • Neil Parisi
    Key Cast
  • Matt Garafalo
    Key Cast
    Taking Back Vegas; The Perfect Murder; Tied Up
  • Wayne Soares
    Key Cast
    My Father, My Don; Snitches; Blind Pass
  • Robert Lappet
    Key Cast
  • Maulik Pancholy
    Key Cast
    30 Rock; Sanjay and Craig; Weeds
  • Halley Feiffer
    Key Cast
    The Squid and the Whale; Younger; It Had to Be You
  • Alec Baldwin
    Key Cast
    30 Rock; Beetlejuice; The Departed
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 16, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    19,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • New York Shorts Festival
    New york
    United States
    November 6, 2016
  • Greek Australian Film Festival
    October 15, 2016
  • Dam Short Film Festival
    Boulder City, NV
    United States
    February 11, 2017
  • Shart International Film Festival
    February 4, 2017
  • Beverly Hills Film Festival
    Beverly Hills
    United States
    April 28, 2017
    LA Premiere
  • Reno Tahoe Film Festival
    United States
    September 9, 2017
    Reno Premiere
    Best Ensemble Cast Award
Director Biography - Chris Fondulas

For more than 15 years Chris Fondulas has worked on feature film and television productions as a sound recordist/boom operator in New York City. Among others, his recent credits include Louie, Mozart in the Jungle, and The Affair. Fondulas worked on NBC's 30 Rock for its entire seven-year run, where he and his colleagues garnered a Primetime Emmy Award in 2008 for Outstanding Sound in a comedy series. It was on set at 30 Rock that he began dreaming up the concept for "The Curse of Don Scarducci," as well as eventually assembling part of the cast and crew.

In 2011, "The Curse" received Best Short Screenplay at the LA Comedy Shorts Film Festival and it was then that Fondulas came to the realization that he needed to shoot his first real short. With the help of his wife, Jessie Hoyt, who co-created and co-produced the film, and was, consequently, the inspiration behind the concept, Fondulas launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 which helped establish a strong network of gluten-free and glutinous supporters. The result equaled world-wide recognition of the all too familiar condition, and ultimately the funding of the project.

That same year, Fondulas co-founded a production company, Uncle Benji LLC, with his wife and another writing partner, James Canty, also a director and filmmaker from the UK. Under the company they produced "The Curse", as well as some other projects including a product launch video for Segway Inc., and a music video for the band Catfish and the Bottlemen starring Ewan MacGregor.

Fondulas has been living in Stonington, CT since 2012, where he lives with his family and continues to write, direct and produce projects at Uncle Benji.

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Director Statement

"The Curse of Don Scarducci" was born out of a trip to the doctor. My wife, Jessie, (co-creator and producer of the film) was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2006, derailing her love of foods containing wheat, rye, barley and a handful of other grains indefinitely. It was a massive blow to a woman I once considered a connoisseur of anything and everything delicious, delectable—and glutinous. It's been a long road for the past 10 years, replete with menu interrogations, arrangements for "special" meals while flying, or even, when down and out, struggling to remain true to her zero tolerance policy of NO GLUTEN. (She once declined a fellow tourist's offer of peanut butter and jelly while she was lost in rural Mexico and basically dying of starvation.) Despite the hardships and her sometimes grumpy, stubborn persona, it has been, at-times, pretty funny.

In the years following her diagnosis, the idea came to me: What would happen if the toughest, baddest individual out there found out they had celiac disease? Who would they be? How would they handle it? Would they take heed and follow doctor's orders? Would they nag the waiter to check with the chef for the umpteenth time to make sure the "crispy" fish isn't coated in panko flakes? Would they —or could they —stop eating the foods they loves so much, knowing that it could kill him some day? One day of giving up wheat takes a strong-willed human being. Stopping forever will change a person in ways you can't imagine. And with that, Don Scarducci came to life.

For those of you who have celiac, our hearts go out to you. We hope you'll enjoy watching this movie as much as we enjoyed making it.