Pantoliano, Manhattan Film Institute to hold film screening at Darien Arts Center

Actor Joe Pantoliano, along with founders of the Manhattan Film Institute will be part of a special event at the Darien Arts Center on March 12 from 4 to 5 p.m.  The DAC is screening students’ short films created under professional supervision at Manhattan Film Institute.  The screening is free of charge and open to the public. The event features a Q&A after the screening with Pantoliano and MFI founders.

Manhattan Film Institute, a film school, nurtures aspirations for both budding and established artists. Their summer program provides individualized instruction in a challenging and safe environment. Each director leaves with a 3 to 5 minute short film and each actor stars in two of the films. Students have used these films to elevate their portfolios when applying to film schools and many have entered their films in festivals across the nation.

Students work side-by-side with a faculty of industry professionals distinguished for their accomplishments as well as their dedication to teaching. MFI’s faculty includes Joe Pantoliano, Chazz Palminteri, Bill Finkelstein, Shannon Goldman, Tony Goldwyn, Bob Krakower, Wendy Makkena, and Tony Spiridakis. MFI founders Goldman and Spiridakis will be at the DAC’s screening along with Pantoliano.

Pantoliano is an American character actor who has played many diverse and memorable roles, from Guido in Risky Business to Eddie Moscone in Midnight Run, Cosmo Renfro in The Fugitive, and Cypher in The Matrix. He is the winner of a primetime Emmy for his work as Ralph Cifaretto on The Sopranos, for which he also received two SAG Award nominations. A wide array of TV and film roles have led Joe to work with many of Hollywood's brightest talents, both on-screen and off, including Richard DonnerSteven SpielbergLilly Wachowski and Lana WachowskiHarrison FordTommy Lee JonesWesley Snipes, and Christopher Nolan.

MFI founder, Tony Spiridakis is a writer, actor and director. In his first screenplay Queens Logic, Tony co-starred with Kevin Bacon, John Malkovich, Joe Mantegna and Jamie Lee Curtis. Since then, Tony has written for Academy Award winners Dustin Hoffman, Diane Keaton and Richard Dreyfuss, as well as Eddie Murphy, Chazz Palminteri and Giancarlo Giannini.  He was cast in the television series, Bay City Blues, created by legendary producer Stephen Bochco, alongside Sharon Stone. He also starred in Harem with Omar Sharif, The American Way with Dennis Hopper and in director Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

Shannon Goldman is a co-founder of Rockville Pictures, the New York-based production company. He has produced, directed, and edited feature length films, many of which premiered at top film festivals and were released to critical acclaim. He has also directed films for some of the top fashion retail companies, including Gap, Victoria’s Secret PINK, Calypso St. Barth and Rebecca Taylor.

The film screening is a culmination of students’ work during their summer programs at MFI. Pantoliano, Spiridakis and Goldman will be available following the screening to answer questions. For more information, visit or call 203)-655-8683. The DAC is located at 2 Renshaw Road, behind the Darien Town Hall.