Not for Nothing, a modern Italian American mafia story takes its audience through a rollercoaster of the characters’ pain, struggle, and grief in South Philadelphia.
To the director of photography, Michael Regalbuto, the film is not just set in South Philly, but uses the neighborhood as one of its characters.
“It just so happened that the city itself too seemed so intriguing and I figured that that would offer not only me an interesting perspective you know, to my life, but also the movie could have that same effect by offering audiences this like, inside look into a city that’s kind of underserved in this industry,” Regalbuto said
Official Synopsis: After his girlfriend turns up dead, a man searches for answers with the aid of his fellow South Philly barflys only to ignite a dangerous street war with a mysterious drug dealer.
Not for Nothing centers on Mark Webber (Snow Day) and Lauren LaVera (Terrifier 2). The film also stars Mike Bash (Shameless), Carmine Yusko, and Michael Gambino (The Riches and Shameless). Other cast members include Danny Donelly (Common Grounds), Michael McFadden (Blindspot),Al Sapienza (Suits), and Vic Dibitetto (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2).
Before his passing in November 2022, co-writer and director Frank Tartaglia aimed to make Not for Nothing a story that broke barriers of stereotypical mafia movies and pulled away from centering the characters on greed.
“Tim wanted us to write a modern-day Italian American mafia movie that took place in south Philadelphia. I was interested in telling a story that involved these Italian American characters but without them being mafia assholes. I also didn’t want greed to be the motivation to set the characters into action,” Tartaglia said.
Tartaglia and his co-writer and director, Tim Dowlin, instead focused on humanizing their characters by giving them legitimate motivation.
“If you’re from Philly, you know someone who is battling with addiction and have overdosed. We wanted to tap into that, make that a motivating factor for revenge, for dealing with someone who is coming onto their turf and peddling poison,” Dowlin said.
The behind-the-scenes of creating the film has a story of its own; Not for Nothing challenged the norm with its three editors, all who lived in different countries and have yet to meet. The editors worked by reels and kept their work in sync through Dropbox. This did not come without difficulties.
“We were always going on Zoom, sharing our screen, and it was always a struggle,” editor Erwann Kerroc’h said.
However, Kerroc’h looks forward to a hybrid of remote and in-person editing in the future.
“I think that’s something that people are getting used to. I think both are here to stay. I don’t know what’s going to be the balance between the two of them, but remote editing is here to stay,” Kerroc’h said.
Although Not for Nothing is set to premiere on May 6th at the 2nd Annual New York CineFest, the film has already received an honorable mention at the 2022 Philadelphia Film Festival and won first place for best picture at Reading, Pennsylvania’s annual film festival.
Fans can learn more about Not for Nothing here.