JACKSON – A Jackson native will be gracing the silver screen as the star of a short film at the upcoming Garden State Film Festival.
Justin C. Schilling stars in the short film “Leo,” which will be screened at the festival in Asbury Park on March 25-29. “Leo” is a short film about a man with Asperger’s syndrome and his fascination with Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous flying machine. Schilling plays the character of Luca, brother of the main character Leo, who looks into the past at how Da Vinci’s inventions might be used in modern times.
“Being on set with so many talented and dedicated people, it really wasn’t hard to give it my all,” said Schilling. “I was immersed in my world with every set design. The director let me play, but kept me in check if I started to go off path and always had an answer to my questions pertaining my role.”
The film’s dialogue is half Italian, inspired by director Christopher Boncimino’s Italian heritage.
Schilling is mentored by Penny Templeton at her studio in NYC, as well as the legendary New Jersey native Joe Rosario.
A Jackson native, Schilling moved to The Big Apple in 2014 where he succeeded in landing roles on television, in commercials, independent films, and has made his off-Broadway debut in theaters such as Theater for the New City and 13th Street Theatre. He also frequents the East Village, performing in the underground hit comedy show BATSU!
Throughout his career, Schilling has appeared in a number of film festivals, including CANNES, MVAAFF, Lighthouse International Film Festival, NYTVF, and now the Garden State Film Festival.
“Leo” was filmed in various locations throughout New Jersey, including Lyndhurst, Holmdel, Wayne, Newark, Montclair, Clifton, and at the Art Factory Studios in Paterson.
Other New Jersey natives were also a vital part of the film’s production including Boncimino (Howell), producer David W. Schoner Jr. (Cedar Grove) and producer Jeff Pinedo (Middlesex Township). Schilling’s fellow cast members include Garden State residents Matthew Serra (Vineland) and Victoria Taylor (Holmdel).