Jeff Celentano was born and raised in Pemberton, New Jersey, a small rural town with towering maple trees and its very own Main Street.  Celentano says "Pemberton looks more like the backlot at Disney than a suburb in Southern New Jersey."

Celentano began his career as an actor while living on the east coast. Today, he is fast becoming one of the freshest new directors in Hollywood. The actor, turned writer/director has managed to effectively combine comedy and drama with his own personalized style.  At 21, The New Jersey native left the Garden State and relocated to New York City.  There, he became interested in acting, studying with legendary acting coach Stella Adler and later became a long time student of Sanford Meisner’s at the Neighborhood Playhouse.

As an actor, Celentano went by his mother’s maiden name, Weston.  He guest starred on numerous television shows from Magnum PI to Dynasty and over twenty feature films, including "The New Age” directed by Academy Award winning writer Michael Tolken and Robert Altman’s hit film “The Player”.  It was during this time with Altman on “The Player” that influenced Jeff most in becoming a director.  He and Altman became close.  Altman’s advice and approach to filmmaking, Celentano carries with him to all of his work today.

Fascinated by the behind-the-scenes aspects of filmmaking with hopes of one day becoming a director himself, Celentano’s first venture was in theatre.  He co-directed and produced the South African play "Soweto's Burning" at the Hudson Backstage.  The critically acclaimed production earned the Los Angeles Times “Pick of the Weekend” for five consecutive weeks.  He then made his writing and directing debut with the short film "Dickwad," a fast-paced farce about a man's bizarre journey home from work on his only day off in seventeen years.  The short, which took Celentano just less than a week to make, garnered the Gold Prize for Best Original Comedy at the Houston International Film Festival, and Best Comedy Short at the Philadelphia International Film Festival.  After touring the festival circuit “Dickwad” was bought by Showtime and the Sundance channel.

The strong buzz from the film led to enormous attention from the studio and his signing with ICM.  From that success Celentano received private funding to head up his own production company “Periscope Pictures.”  His first feature under the Periscope Banner was "Under the Hula Moon", which he co-wrote.  The film starred Stephen Baldwin, Emily Lloyd, and Chris Penn.  A romantic comedy, the film premiered at the Cannes film festival in 1995 then had much success traveling extensively to festivals throughout Europe.  It premiered at The Hamburg’s Film Festival in Germany becoming a hit with audiences there. It also won Best Comedy at the Charleston International Film Festival. Hula Moon was later released in theaters across the U.S.       
                         
Next  -- Celentano completed “GUNSHY”, a high impact drama. -- (an HBO film, written by Larry Gross - “48 Hrs.”,  “Streets of Fire”, “The Game”). “Gunshy’s” story centers around the relationship between a down-and-out journalist (William Petersen), a Irish mobster (Michael Wincott) and the girl they both love (Diane Lane).  Celentano’s determination, passion and attention to detail, pays off once again. Celentano wins the “Best Director Award  for “Gunshy”, the top honor  presented at The Atlantic City International Film Festival .  Gunshy aced the competition with the audience favoring a simpler, more emotionally charged tale to the bigger studio entries like Brian De Palma’s  film “Snake Eyes”.  In total, Jeff has received 7 awards in his short career as a Director.

Currently, Celentano has just returned from New York City, directing "BREAKING POINT" a court room thriller, starring Tom Berenger, Armand  Assante, Busta Rhymes, Musetta Vander and Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones . BREAKING POINT opened theatrically across the US December 2009.

Celentano next project is about the true life story of a cripple baseball player that made it all the way into the major leagues called THE HARDEST HITTER. (Reminiscent of Forest Gump)

Celentano’s influences and favorite directors are The Coen Brothers, Robert Zemekis, Ridley Scott, Terry Gilliam, Peter Greenaway, Sidney Lumet, Martin Scorcese and David Lean.   “The Deer Hunter” is his favorite film of all time. 
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