With LITTLE KINGS, her feature debut, Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno has cooked up a zesty family comedy from a variety of ingredients: love, adultery, sibling rivalry, the occult, incest, union troubles, and much more. Dom (Dominic Pace), a science teacher at a Catholic girls’ high school, has an immoral problem: he’s secretly in love with his brother Gino’s pregnant wife (Rita Pietropinto). Life gets even more complicated when his misfit student (Tessa Ghylin) sets out to seduce him – with a little help from the dark arts. Dom’s bumbling attempts to resist temptation contrast with favored son Gino (Mark Giordano) and his guilt-free extramarital indulgences. Youngest brother Johnny (Johnny Giacalone) has found true romance – with his first cousin Carlee (Robin Paul).

Each brother must resolve his personal crisis so that the Santello clan can gather in peace around the dinner table. Set on Staten Island, this narrative, in the indie spirit of 1995’s THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN, of three Italian-American brothers and their entanglements with the opposite sex, benefits from Ms. Tibaldo-Bongiorno’s dual perspective. She counters the men’s shenanigans with a heartfelt expression of what women think and need, while both astutely scrutinizing what it means to be an Italian-American male and celebrating the community’s vibrancy and family loyalty. LITTLE KINGS is an enjoyable journey with a filmmaker whose storytelling skills herald a talent to watch.

- By Cindi Rowell

Hamptons International Film Festival


Little Kings 99 min.

Director/Producer/Co-Screenwriter: Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno

Co-Screenwriter/Cinematographer/Editor: Jerome Bongiorno

Cast: Dominic Pace, Mark Giordano, Rita Pietropinto, Johnny Giacalone a dark romantic comedy, the story of three Italian-American brothers and their complex relationships with the women in their lives

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