Two Family House
An independent filmmaker hailed from New York City, Raymond De Felitta got an Oscar nomination for his AFI thesis short, “Bronx Cheers” (1990), but did not make his feature film directing debut until five years later with “Cafe Society” (1995). His second film, “Two Family House” (2000), earned the director/writer Sundance Film Festival's Audience Award for Dramatic and an Independent Spirit nomination for Best Screenplay. He continue to win Nashville Film Festival's Audience Choice Award for “The Thing About My Folks” (2005) and a Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee and Sundance's Grand Jury Prize nomination for the documentary film “'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris” (2006). His latest film, “City Island” (2009), was a minor success at the box office despite receiving good reviews from critics. De Felitta is also an actor and a professional jazz pianist and composer.
Childhood and Family:
Raymond De Felitta was born on June 30, 1964, in New York City, New York. His father's name is Frank De Felitta. He graduated from the American Film Institute's directing program, class of 1990.
In 2001, Raymond was married to Sherry Brennan. The couple welcomed a son, Lorenzo, in August 2004.
In 1990, Raymond De Felitta made a short film called “Bronx Cheers” for his AFI thesis. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Film, Live Action in 1991, an honor he shared with Matthew Gross (producer). In 1992, De Felitta appeared in the horror film “Mad at the Moon,” which was co-written and directed by Martin Donovan.
It was three years later when De Felitta made his feature film directing debut with “Cafe Society” (1995), which he also wrote. The drama starred Frank Whaley, Peter Gallagher and Lara Flynn Boyle. He then co-wrote the screenplay of “Shadow of Doubt” (1998), an independent mystery/thriller film directed by Randal Kleiser and starring Melanie Griffith, Tom Berenger, Craig Sheffer, and Huey Lewis. He returned to acting with appearances in Abel Ferrara's “New Rose Hotel” (1998) and Frank Whaley's “Joe the King” (1999).
In 2000, De Felitta wrote and helmed the drama film “Two Family House,” which is based on based on the story of his uncle. Starring Michael Rispoli, Kelly Macdonald, Kathrine Narducci, Kevin Conway, Matt Servitto and Vincent Pastore, the film won De Felitta Audience Award for Dramatic at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, a Grand Special Prize nomination at the 2000 Deauville Film Festival and a 2001 Independent Spirit nomination for Best Screenplay.
De Felitta returned to the director's chair when he helmed Peter Falk, Paul Reiser and Olympia Dukakis in the drama film “The Thing About My Folks” (2005). The film premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival in June 2005 and went into limited release in the US in September 2005. It grossed $816,403 in the US and $6,934 in elsewhere for a total worldwide box office of $823,337. De Felitta won Audience Choice Award for Best Feature from the 2005 Nashville Film Festival for his work on the film.
In 2006, De Felitta wrote and directed the documentary film “'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris.” It won US/International Award for CinemaJAZZ Feature at the Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee and was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2007, he played the role of Chuck McGrady on “New York City Serenade,” a comedy/drama film starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Chris Klein and Jamie-Lynn Sigler and directed and written by Frank Whaley.
In 2009, De Felitta directed, wrote and produced the indie film “City Island” (2009), starring Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies and Steven Strait. The film received generally positive reviews, and
won Audience Award at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival. It grossed nearly 8 million at the box office against a budget of $ 6 million.
On the music front, De Felitta is a lifelong jazz pianist. He has released two albums: “Movies 'til Dawn” (1994) and “Fatha Land” (2007), the latter of which is a tribute to Earl Hines.
Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee: US/International Award, CinemaJAZZ Feature, “'Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris,” 2006
Nashville Film Festival: Audience Choice Award, Best Feature, “The Thing About My Folks,” 2005
Sundance Film Festival: Audience Award, Dramatic, “Two Family House,” 2000