Chicago’s colorful and violent gangster past, laden with fascinating sociopathic players (e.g. HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire) is given an important up close and personal look by Nicholas Celozzi II, whose documentary about a famous mob relative has won two important awards.
Celozzi’s “Momo: The Sam Giancana Story” will take home “Best Documentary” honors from the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival Dec. 5 in L.A., and last month it won The Grand Jury Award for “Best Documentary” at The Bel-Air Film Festival.
Celozzi wrote and produced the $800,000-budgeted film depicting his great uncle Giancana as the powerful organized crime boss – a real life godfather — of the Chicago Outfit and as loving family man.
“What I think people will take away from this film is how complicit the government and organized crime where in their working relationship. The one did not exist without the other and people will relearn history as we know it,” says Celozzi, who has produced, director and acted in some 25 films.
Giancana’s two daughters, who speak about their father publically for the first time in 30 years, offer never-before revealed insight into Giancana as he was at home in Oak Park.
“Momo” depicts a time in US history when the government and organized crime couldn’t exist without the other; Giancana, America’s biggest organized crime leader was a US government operative for both the CIA and FBI.
A friend of Frank Sinatra and a lover of Marilyn Monroe, Sam Giancana was one of the most powerful men in the US from 1958-1966. Hired by the Kennedy family to help elect JFK president (he was credited with Chicago’s squeaking winning margin for Kennedy), Giancana was also running the U.S. government while its political and societal leaders looked the other way.
The doc was directed by Dimitri Logothetis, who cowrote the script; edited by Ned Weisman, president of Weisman Entertainment 3D and produced by LeMonde Entertainment, all of Los Angeles.
Celozzi, who operates North Hollywood Acting Studios in Naperville, is currently developing a reality TV show about him teaching acting studios the truth about what it takes to have an actual acting career. Auditions will be held in December.