Rocco Simonelli - Screenwriter

Screenwriter/Director/Author Rocco Simonelli's home on the web.

Professional Bio

RoccoSimonelli                                                                                                                                                                                                                             rocco6@earthlink.net                                                                                                                                  

EDUCATION                                                                                                                                    Studied art and film at The School of Visual Arts, NYC

TEACHING EXPERIENCE
The School of Visual Arts, New York, NY                                                                               Instructor, 1991 – 2006                                                                                                                  Taught both undergraduate and continuing education courses in Screenwriting, Storytelling and Writing for the Short Film
Marymount Manhattan College, New York, NY
Instructor, 1997 - 1998                                                                                                                   Taught a continuing education course in Screenwriting

SCREENWRITING AND FILMMAKING EXPERIENCE
Co-author (with Roy Frumkes) of THE SUBSTITUTE, an urban thriller directed by Robert Mandel (FX) and starring Tom Berenger, Ernie Hudson, Diane Venora and music star Marc Anthony.  The film opened number two on the domestic box office charts, then went on to become one of the most successful video releases of 1996.  It has to date spawned three sequels.

Wrote and directed THE SWEET LIFE, a romantic comedy Rex Reed described as “hilarious, keenly observed, and chock full of refreshing details and insights.”   Rock music icon Joan Jett appeared in a featured role and contributed a rollicking title song.  The Sweet Life premiered as the official opening night selection of The 2003 Back East Picture Show, and was named “Best Romantic Comedy” at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.

Authored the original screenplay which served as the basis for the mystical thriller THE JOHNSONS.  Directed by noted Dutch helmer Rudolf van den Berg (Cold Light  of Day), it proved a theatrical hit in Europe, and has become a cult favorite among American horror enthusiasts.

Co-author (with James Lorinz & Frank Rainone) of ME AND THE MOB (a.k.a. Who Do I Gotta Kill?), a gangster comedy filmed in New York and featuring Sandra Bullock in a memorably raunchy cameo, which garnered positive reviews from Variety and The New York Daily News.

Co-author (with Roy Frumkes) of THE SUBSTITUTE 2: SCHOOL’S OUT, a sequel shot on location in New York City, starring Treat Williams and B.D. Wong.

Co-author (with Roy Frumkes) of THE SUBSTITUTE 3: WINNER TAKES ALL, starring Treat Williams and Claudia Christian.

Characters created by credit for THE SUBSTITUTE 4: FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION, starring Treat Williams and Angie Everhart.

Co-author (with James Lorinz) of SWIRLEE, an independent short starring David Caruso.  The subject of a major article in Film Threat Magazine, this underground cult classic was also featured in Chris Gore’s book The Fifty Greatest Movies Never Made.

SPEC SCRIPTS SOLD OR OPTIONED, REWRITE WORK AND OTHER WRITER FOR HIRE WORKS YET TO BE PRODUCED
Co-author (with Roy Frumkes) of the original spec script KILLER INSTINCT, a tense thriller set in the world of ultimate fighting.  It has been optioned by producer Effie Brown (Real Women Have Curves), and award-winning actor Keith David (Crash, Armageddon) is set to direct as well as co-star.

Author of the original spec script BROKEN, a drama about an agoraphobic restorer of clocks whose life becomes dangerously entwined with the prostitute who lives in the apartment across the hall from his own.  Optioned by Cadenza Films.

Co-author (with Roy Frumkes) of the original spec script SLAY THE BULLY, a sharp-witted satire of American hucksterism set in the milieu of a suburban junior high school, which has been purchased by New Line Cinema.

Co-author (with Roy Frumkes) of TROUBLED WATER, the inspiring true story of American swimmer Nelson Diebel, who overcame both personal and physical problems to win a gold medal at the ’92 Barcelona Olympics.  Written for Turner Network Television and Davis Entertainment.

Co-authored (with Roy Frumkes) a major rewrite of a thriller script titled TRIPTYCH for Cadenza Films and producer Pierre Spengler (Superman I, II, III), with legendary South American filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, Holy Mountain, Santa Sangre) attached to direct.

Co-author (with Roy Frumkes) of the psychological thriller IN THE DARK, an adaptation of the novel Soul Snatcher by Camerin Grae.  Written for producer Robert Harris’ Davnor Productions (The Grifters).

Co-author (with Roy Frumkes) of DUST, an original spec script which has been optioned three times.

PUBLICATIONS
Co-author (with Roy Frumkes) of SHOOT ME: Independent Filmmaking From Creative Concept to Rousing Release, a book published by Allworth Press detailing the creation of Mr. Simonelli’s film The Sweet Life.  IndieWIRE.com described Shoot Me as "one of the best books out there right now on making an indie film from scratch" and "the filmmaking bible of the moment."

MAGAZINES IN WHICH MR. SIMONELLI’S WRITING HAS APPEARED
The Perfect Vision
Book and film reviews.
Films in Review
Book and film reviews, interviews.

INTERVIEWS WITH AND/OR ARTICLES ABOUT MR. SIMONELLI
“Squeezed, Screwed and Hardballed.”  Moviemaker Magazine, Spring 2003.
“Hitler!  The Movie!”  Details Magazine, March 1999.
“The Rewrite Blues.”  Fangoria Magazine, July 1998.
“Swirlee: A Gangster Movie About a Godfather Made of…Ice Cream?”  Film Threat Magazine, November 1991

AWARDS AND HONORS
Best Romantic Comedy, New York International Independent Film and Video Festival, for The Sweet Life.
Gold Award, Original Comedy Screenplay, Houston International Film Festival, for     A Ticket to Paradise (with Rico Pagliei).
Bronze Award, Original Dramatic Screenplay, Houston International Film Festival, for Rebel, Rebel.
Certificate of Merit, Original Dramatic Screenplay, Worldfest Houston, for Dust (with Roy Frumkes).