Jim Amatulli shot his first film as a communications major back in 1969. It was a romantic drama about a lovelorn medieval warrior who dashes around a castle trying to soothe his broken heart with his sword. From that point on, Amatulli dreamed of producing a big-screen motion picture, but a family and career interrupted those plans for the next 34 years.
By the time he was nearly 50, he realized he was running out of time. So with a script written years before in hand, he put his business on hold, rounded up investors and formed a film company. He hired a Hollywood casting director and started shooting in May 2002. The film, which took 24 days to shoot, takes place in a Cincinnati art gallery and in four manor-style houses in some of the city’s tonier neighborhoods. It was completed last January.
“Artworks” is set in the world of wealthy art collectors, and the perpetrators are art experts who fall in love with each other—and their greed. The film already has won awards at independent film festivals in Houston and Atlantic City and was slated for at least eight showings this fall. It debuted in Cincinnati Oct. 11.
“I learned that if you want to do something for 30 years, and it’s still bothering you, you’d better do it,” he says.