Johnny Depp And Other Hollywood Stars Helped This Teen With Stage 4 Cancer Make Movie Magic

And it only took five days.

When 16-year-old Anthony Conti was diagnosed with Stage 4 adrenal gland cancer, he didn't abandon his dreams of being a filmmaker. Instead, he wrote a short movie script and got a little help from some celebrity friends.

The film, called The Black Ghiandola, is a zombie short starring Conti as a young boy who risks his life to save a girl after his family is killed during a zombie apocalypse.

In mid-November, the Make A Film Foundation — a nonprofit organization that grants film wishes for children who have serious medical conditions — brought Conti's script to life in only five days, the fastest shooting time in the organization's nine-year history.

Famous faces such as Johnny Depp, David Lynch, and J.K. Simmons made time to shoot the film, while Sam Raimi, Catherine Hardwicke, and Theodore Melfi were all directors on set. The film is set to premiere between January and February next year.



Anthony Conti with Jade Pettyjohn. Photo Credit: Goodluck Road Photography by Jenna Hagel / Courtesy of Make A Film Foundation.
Anthony Conti with Jade Pettyjohn. Photo Credit: Goodluck Road Photography by Jenna Hagel / Courtesy of Make A Film Foundation.

Tamika Lamison, the founder of Make A Film Foundation, took to Instagram to thank Depp and others who took part in the project.

"What I love about Anthony is his courage, his sense of humor, his profound sense of self, his huge heart and intensity as a human being and a filmmaker. We are all better for having Anthony Conti invite us to be a part of his life and his film," she told the The Hollywood Reporter.

Conti chats with director Catherine Hardwicke. Photo Credit: Goodluck Road Photography by Jenna Hagel / Courtesy of Make A Film Foundation.
Conti chats with director Catherine Hardwicke. Photo Credit: Goodluck Road Photography by Jenna Hagel / Courtesy of Make A Film Foundation.

In the weeks since Conti’s story has been told, he’s received support from people in the film and television industry, including a video message from "The Walking Dead’s" Andrew Lincoln.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to pay for post-production costs, a screening in Los Angeles, and a screening in Conti's hometown of Boston. 

Conti with the cast and crew of The Black Ghiandola. Photo Credit: Goodluck Road Photography by Jenna Hagel / Courtesy of Make A Film Foundation.
Conti with the cast and crew of The Black Ghiandola. Photo Credit: Goodluck Road Photography by Jenna Hagel / Courtesy of Make A Film Foundation.
Conti with director Catherine Hardwicke, and actors Johnny Depp and John Grady. Photo Credit: Goodluck Road Photography by Jenna Hagel / Courtesy of Make A Film Foundation.
Conti with director Catherine Hardwicke, and actors Johnny Depp and John Grady. Photo Credit: Goodluck Road Photography by Jenna Hagel / Courtesy of Make A Film Foundation.


(H/T: The Hollywood Reporter)

Cover image: Goodluck Road Photography by Jenna Hagel / Courtesy of Make A Film Foundation