DAIREN, Conn. -- When Darien resident and CEO of Stamford-based Pitney Bowes Michael J. Critellli decided to leave his comfort zone and make a movie, he decided to make it a family affair. He partnered with his son, Michael A. Critelli, to write and produce "From The Rough," a movie that addresses prejudice and the ability to overcome it.
The movie opens in select theaters nationally on Friday, April 25.
"From the Rough" explores the story of Dr. Catana Starks, who was selected to build a men's college golf team at Tennessee State University in 1988. In the process, Starks became the first African-American woman to coach a men's college athletic team.
The film stars Academy Award nominees Taraji P. Henson and Michael Clarke Duncan in one of his last films, and Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the "Harry Potter" movies.
“I believe what makes us successful is that one teacher, that one coach, that one mentor who at the right time said something or did something that changed the course of our life and put us in the right direction,” the elder Critelli said in a statement. “This film is an effort to celebrate everyday heroes, and for me, this story isn’t about golf; it’s about the essence of what makes people successful in all walks of life.”
Principal photography took place in New Orleans with director Pierre Bagley at the helm. The crew shot for nearly six weeks on location in and around the city at its public park, at English Turn Golf and Country Club, at the TPC Course, and at the Union Passenger Terminal, where the upstairs was transformed into the set of TSU’s athletic department.
The film will open in select theaters on Friday, April 25, including at the Bow Tie Landmark 9 in Stamford and the Bow Tie Regent 8 in South Norwalk.