Tag Archives: Joseph Procopio


Canadian wünderkind director, JOSEPH PROCOPIO, recently screened his latest short film, SUNDAE, at the new Toronto Int’ Short Film Festival where the film won the “Best of Canada” award. Congrats, Joseph!  Here he is with actors Lauren and Neil, along with friend Juliana at the festival, hosted at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto.

TISFF(LtoR) Lauren Bullivant, Neil Babcock, Joseph Procopio & Juliana Lupis

Apart from working towards his filmmaking degree at university, Joseph is currently half way through writing two feature film screenplays for a February 2014 delivery, as well as writing a TV series network bible for a July/14 delivery. Check out his website for news updates and to view all of Joseph’s past films. www.josephprocopio.ca

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Back in the 80’s, I ran Yuk Yuk’s Komedy Kabaret in Toronto, helping build the network of clubs across Canada and acting as agent for the amazing stable of stand-up comics represented by the YY-owned Funny Business Agency. One of those comedians was Frank Procopio, a handsome young Italian Canadian with a wry sense of humour and great writing chops. Skip ahead some 25yrs and I find myself again representing a Procopio, this time it’s Frank’s son, Joseph – a budding young filmmaker who starting making short films at age 9 and started winning international short film awards…at age 9!

Films By JPOver the past few years, I’ve watched Joseph grow as a writer, director and an excellent casting director, too – he seems to know instinctively which actors can bring his stories to life. Frank co-produces with him and after 12 short films, over 40 int’l film festival awards and being named one of Canada’s top under 25’s by Maclean’s Magazine in 2011, at age 19, Joseph is now working on his first two feature film scripts and is already in talks with leading LA industry professionals. I figured it was time I sit down for a chat with this uber talent.

Joseph Procopio, writer_director

Starting at such a young age, were you aware that it was not “normal” for 9yr olds to be writing and directing their own movies? I had no clue that what I was doing was not normal. I just grabbed a video camera, started putting together my own little stories and began editing them on Windows Movie Maker. Thanks to my parents, I had computers and video cameras around me my whole life; I just saw them as the tools with which to tell a story. Watching movies with my family on a weekly basis inspired me to want to try making ne of my own.

Were you ever bullied or teased by your classmates or friends? I was the class outcast because I was making films when the other kids were playing hockey or baseball. As a kid, I didn’t play as much sports as my friends – I was doing a lot of film work on my own instead playing team sports. I had a few good friends and I guess they were okay with it; thankfully they weren’t making fun of me because I saw life through a camera.

How did your parents come to understand your need to make films – were they supportive and encouraging? My dad was always talking to us about films, telling stories and everything just fell into place. My parents brought me to point where I knew how to tell a story and that was how they really supported me, apart from providing the equipment and acting as crew (and my mum’s “craft services” is the best!). I didn’t have to wait for film school to learn how to write a script, light a scene, or how to polish an edit. My family supported me from the beginning and helped make my dreams a reality.

When you received your very first accolades and awards, what was your first reaction (if you remember)? When I received my first award for my very first film “Nine Times Eight” at TIFF, it felt like I was as the Academy Awards. I couldn’t wait to go back home and start filming another story. It felt as if I really was part of show business.  I remember that night, when I got home, all I did was stare at that crystal award and I couldn’t believe that TIFF gave one to me.

Over the past 9 years, you have created some soulful, emotional shorts that were more mature in subject matter than your years. How would you explain your own capacity for “feeling” them, understanding them, then capturing these emotions on camera? All I was doing was filming exactly what I was feeling. For example, in my film “Drive” I was worried about my future and what would become of me, just like many teenagers do from time to time. And then when I started dating, what I felt after each breakup became my next film. I’ve continued to grab the camera to express how I felt and to get it out of my system.

While most young emerging filmmakers insist on making shoot ‘em up/bang-bang, sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll movies, you have chosen to focus on story-driven and character rich scripts that you’ve written yourself – please explain your rationale behind this decision to go against the grain. All of my stories are rooted in the same emotions that I felt while I was growing up, for example: when I realized that I would be parting ways with a good friend who went away to university, I wanted to write about the possibility of meeting her again one day and what I would be feeling. That thought became the basis for “Sundae”. (see on-set stills below)

Still 1 Still 2 Still 3

Your latest and last short film, Sundae, has already captured a major award (Rhode Island Film Festival 2013) and is slated to be screened at many other int’l festivals and the upcoming TIFF Short Film Fest – do you feel that Sundae is the perfect final short film in your repertoire? Sundae was the largest of all my projects and I wanted to create a “calling-card” film that would deliver an original screenplay, performed by ACTRA talent, shot on professional camera systems and edited/coloured/mixed at Technicolor. I wanted to deliver Sundae so that the only difference between this short film and a feature film was the page length of the material.

As you now move on to writing your first feature film script, do you feel all the previous work done has prepared you for filmmaking on a grander scale?  My last four screenplays have allowed me to explore plot structure, character, and arc development which is now making the writing of my two feature screenplays much easier than I anticipated.  Lately, I’ve been feeling that I can’t contain the stories in only a few pages and feel ready for the long form so I can really get into my characters.

Do you currently have any interested parties for your feature script(s) and/or who are your “mentors” moving fwd in your career? I’m currently in talks with a noted Hollywood mentor and well-known filmmaker with whom I hope to work, and I should have an announcement early in 2014. So watch this space for news!

Joseph’s Fast-5 Q&A

Favourite film? Forrest Gump

Favourite director? Steven Spielberg

Favourite period or style of filmmaking? 1990’s  

Favourite actor/actress? Michael Caine

First purchase you plan to make once you hit that first big Hollywood payday? A bungalow on the Universal Studios back-lot. 

Keep up with Joseph’s career via his website www.josephprocopio.ca  and follow him on Facebook: ProcopioFilms

TIFF Shorts






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2129-joseph-procopio-young-rising-talent-lensI’m thrilled to share this great article written by Rosanna Bonura for Panoram Italia magazine showcasing young Toronto-based filmmaker JOSEPH PROCOPIO [ www.josephprocopio.ca ]. With over 45 international film awards to his name, Joseph is currently writing feature film scripts and has just returned from LA where he met with leading agents and producers to discuss his next project.

Panoram Italia interview with Joseph Procopio

Watch this blog for my own interview with this multi-talented young director-writer-producer who’s creating such a buzz in the biz!

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Every year I look fwd to receiving my invitation from Sari & Bill Marshall, Founder of the original Festival of Festivals, now known around the world as the Toronto Int’l Film Festival, and without a doubt this year’s luncheon was the bestest ever!! LOL.  Held at the legendary Barberian’s Restaurant in downtown Toronto, the food was spectacular, the drinks never-ending and our hosts held court over an amazing cross-section of the film industry’s elite, politicos, rock stars, sports celebs, media…and us. My lovely, charming assistant, Kaneesha, and I schmoozed our faces off, connecting our clients Peter & Edna Pereira of Fit2Touch  www.fit2touch.com and filmmaker Joseph Procopio  www.josephprocopio.ca with all the cool party revelers.

(below – Kaneesha w/Edna & Peter of Fit2Touch)  20130907_125307 20130907_125547                                          (above – Edna, Peter & Joseph Procopio)

We were thrilled to connect with Yannick Bisson, star of the hit TV series Murdoch Mysteries and his gorgeous actress wife Chantal.  Murdoch has been sold/distributed around the world and has become one of the biggest TV series to come out of Canada. Fingers crossed that the US market picks it up for network broadcast – Murdoch Mysteries has become a brand synonymous with quality dramatic acting and writing and showcases Toronto and turn of the 20th century Canada so brilliantly. (below – Yannick & Chantal)

20130907_135943Joseph Procopio recently returned from screening his latest film, Sundae, at the renowned Rhode Island Film Fest where the film took top honours with the GERALD LAMOUREUX AWARD. He flies off on Monday to appear at the LA Shorts Fest where Sundae is again in competition. Good luck, JP!  Here he is with Edna & Peter.20130907_125547

Can you spot the pop star here? Photo below features 70’s pop icon Andy Kim (Rock Me Gently & Sugar Sugar) mixes it up with political animal John Tory (L) and their respective ladies. Check out Andy’s website www.andykimmusic.com  John Tory with Andy Kim

And speaking of politics, we were thrilled to meet Senator Don Meredith and his beautiful and elegant wife Michelle who graciously posed for photos with Kaneesha, Edna & Peter…and I finally got the guts to get in front of the camera myself.

20130907_14550520130907_145930Sari Marshall welcomed legendary writer & film aficionado George Anthony (below L) and Bill Marshall chatted with guests Michael and Jessica (bottom photo).Sari with Geo Anthony Michael, Jessica & Bill MarshallAnd CBC TV was well-represented at the All-Star Luncheon, too (centre)

CBC boysand first time TIFFer’s Edna & Peter really got around – here they are with Canadian Olympic cycling medalist & World Record holder Curt Harnett who couldn’t have been nicer to chat with.  20130907_151032

Here are some more maaahvelous guests including the oh so fabulous Jaymz Bee (in elegant blue suit) with his lovely date, singer Barbra Lica www.barbralica.com and then a very powerful threesome – my ex-boss & Founder of Yuk Yuk’s Mark Breslin, Bill Marshall and Telefilm Canada’s Dan Lyon (I can only imagine what naughty showbiz stories those fellas are sharing!)

Jaymz Bee Breslin, Marshall & LyonOne of the charming caterers was Nisha Amin of Bite Bar www.bitebar.ca who made sure we all satisfied our sweet-tooth cravings with deelish cheesecake and mini cupcake treats.Bite Guide

And I think Kaneesha boarded the Love Boat with Commander Tim O’Leary, Commanding Officer of the HMCS York (below)Comm. Tim O'Leary & Kaneesha

When I arrived at the party, there was one heck of a musical mash-up happening outside with cast and musicians from the new Avi Federgreen movie, The Cocksure Lads Movie which stars Alan Doyle of Canada’s award-winning Great Big Sea band. Writer/Director Murray Foster (below R) also of Great Big Sea was leading the wacky troupe – you can check out the trailer at www.thecocksurelads.com

The Cocksure Lads

Needless to say, wherever there is film business being done, you’ll always find “the suits”. Ah yes, the legal beagles – the lawyers! But we found a couple of real cuties: Michael and David joined the Fordham PR gang (pictured below) for a cocktail and I made sure to get a biz card…you never know when a girl’s gonna need a lawyer!

Clients & lawyers!BIG THANK YOU’s to Sari & Bill for yet another superb soiree, and to BARBERIAN’s for being the brilliant old-school restaurant that Sammy, Dino & Frank would have loved. Bravo, everyone…see you next year!

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One of Canada’s most awarded young filmmakers, JOSEPH PROCOPIO, screened his latest (and final) short film yesterday, Sunday July 28, at the Carlton Cinema in downtown Toronto, to a packed house of cast, crew, family and friends.

PosterSUNDAE is the 3rd film in Joseph’s romantic drama trilogy that started with ONION SKIN and MEMORIES which were also screened. Starring Tiago Abreu, Kendra Timmins, Neil Babcock and Lauren Bullivant, SUNDAE tells the story of love and friendship that’s lost and found. There were quite a few sniffles in the audience when the lights came up. Joseph sure knows how to tap into people’s emotions. He’s now working on his first feature film script throughout the summer along with some other projects of his own, and has just been approached to direct a segment for the new feature film based on the best-selling novel, The Book of Awesome, which should start lensing in 2014. Below are some pics from the after-screening meet-n-greet with the cast & crew. SUNDAE has already been accepted at the famed Rhode Island Int’l Film Festival (an Oscar-booster festival) and is being considered for numerous other festivals around the world (Joseph has already won over 40+ int’l festival awards for his films over the past 9 years). Let’s hope TIFF (Toronto Int’l Film Festival) includes him in this year’s crop of shorts.

Joseph’s new website is set to launch shortly. Check it out at: http://www.josephprocopio.ca/

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Multi-award winning young Canadian writer/director JOSEPH PROCOPIO recently dropped by the www.KatieChats.com studios in downtown Toronto to talk with host KATIE UHLMANN about his career and his latest short film, SUNDAE, which is currently in film festival submission mode. Not yet 19yrs old and Joseph has already won 45+ international awards for his films made over the past 10 years! This extraordinary young movie-making talent was named one of Canada’s Top 10 Under 25 by Maclean’s magazine in 2011, and with his latest film already accepted at some of the most prestigious and “Oscar-booster” film fests in the US, Joseph is poised for a major impact on the film industry with his first feature-length film he’s currently writing. Good luck JP, see you at the movies.


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