Above / Born in Edward Hospital, Davide Tomei is an aspiring movie producer who discovered appreciation for the arts at Neuqua Valley High School. Today the 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University is living and working in Los Angeles, happy to say he’s from Naperville, Illinois.
UPDATE, July 7, 2018 / To PN… Hello! I have wonderful news: Unconditional is officially out on Amazon. The link can be found right here: https://www.amazon.com/
UPDATE, 1:18PM June 28, 2018 / Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me this week. We do have some unfortunate news we need to share pertaining to Unconditional: The film is not going to be released on Amazon today, as there is a technical issue that Amazon is patching up. We just found out this morning. We believe that the film will be released sometime next week. Is possible to update the story that you’ve posted to accurately reflect this information?
Original Post, June 27, 2018 / Unconditional is a 98-minute feature film about love and the human condition, written and directed by Braden Barton and co-produced by Davide Tomei and Molly Esling. Unconditional is set to be released on June 28, 2018, on Amazon Prime.
Co-Producer Tomei hails from Naperville and the halls of Neuqua Valley High School where he was involved with two choirs, the school newspaper and the football team. He says he learned his senior year, especially, to appreciate the fine arts program that School District 204 supports.
After high school, Tomei went on the college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale where he became immersed in film-making and was graduated with a BA degree in Cinema and Photography in December 2017.
Recently Tomei contacted PN with the news that his first independent feature-length film was ready to debut on Amazon.
As the producer of Unconditional, a mystery/thriller that’s been called a “story of betrayal,” he explained the film was funded via a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. “We raised just over $5,000 through that,” he said. His other responsibilities as producer have included talent relations, scheduling photography, supervising the editing process and now distribution.
Unconditional filmed in Carbondale two years ago, edited until recently in LA
Tomei provided the synopsis for Unconditional, an R-rated film. He wrote, “When a loving, idyllic wife who suspiciously turns up dead, her husband Adam’s desperate need for justification coupled with daughter Mary’s bitter resentment leads them on a search for answers. On this emotionally explosive journey, they uncover the truth about a wife and mother who led a dual life of sex, drugs, and underground clubs for decades — and how they can continue on in life without her.”
According to Tomei, the making of this movie took about 20 days on location in Carbondale and southern Illinois, “shooting the 124-page script at breakneck speed.” With extras, the cast included about 100 actors and Tomei added that he can be spotted in the background of some scenes. He raved about the exceptional performance of Matlyn Rybak who plays the daughter.
“Crew members sacrificed so much and worked so hard to bring this story to life,” he said, noting 35 dedicated crew members. “Talent was brought in from St. Louis, Nashville, and the local Southern Illinois community as well.”
Post-production has taken place almost entirely in Los Angeles where Tomei now resides.
“I’m beyond thrilled to finally bring Unconditional to people, on a platform that anyone and everyone can access,” said Tomei when he explained how his film is available to purchase and rent on Amazon or stream via Amazon Prime.
“The entire cast and crew have worked tirelessly to get to this Thursday, and I can’t be more grateful for their efforts and humbled by the support of our entire viewership in this endeavor,” Tomei added.
“Our official poster with behind-the-scenes photos and stills from the film are on our website, www.unconditional.squarespce.com. You can find our trailer embedded in the ‘Our Story’ tab at unconditional.squarespace.com,” Tomei said.
Unconditional is rated for adults
As editors of a family-focused publication, we questioned the R-rated designation and expressed our hesitancy to promote a yet-to-be-released mystery movie when we’d only watched the thrilling trailer. We asked Tomei why the “R” rating and how he thought his film would find the appropriate audience.
“That’s a good question,” Tomei said. “Amazon has policy guidelines, too. The rating came from some explicit language, nudity and ‘questionable content’ in the opening 15 minutes of the film, used to appropriately tell the story. None of it is gratuitous,” he added.
“I’d recommend parents do what my parents did when allowing my sister and me to watch R rated movies,” he added, using the example of the 2008 film “Frost/Nixon,” a movie with sometimes rough language that inspired Tomei’s interest in film production. “Parents should watch Unconditional first, knowing it’s intended for an adult audience. Then leave it to the parents’ discretion.”
For more information about the aspiring film producer and his passions, visit davidebtomei.wixsite.com/tomei where it’s noted that Unconditional is a finalist at the Filmmatic Screenplay Awards Competition and an official selection at the Transylvania Cinema Awards.
A couple more thoughts from the young producer
When asked if his parents still lived in Naperville and if he wanted to mention them, Davide Tomei replied, “Yes… I am the son of Cindy Tomei (mother) and Davide G. Tomei and Evelyn Tomei (father and stepmother). Savanna Tomei is my sister.”
Regarding his high school experience at Neuqua, he continued, “I want to specifically thank teachers Mary Van Milligen, John Gelsomino, Jay Kellner (who has since retired), Ryan Rimington, Tom Trayser, Bill Ellinghaus, and — last, yet foremost —Chris Ruffolo,” added Tomei. “All of these people taught me valuable skills and lessons to improve my craft, life, and work ethic for which I will always be grateful.”
PN interview with Davide Tomei occurred on June 26, 2018. Photos courtesy Davide Tomei.