RIFF Movies Archive


Canada, 2004, HD - Color - 90 min

Jerry Ciccoritti

Emily Hampshire, Jacob Tierney

Screenplay adaptation by Jerry Ciccoritti

Anna Gerb, Joel Awerbuck

Foreign by Spank Films, Domestic (Canada only) Capri Films


Adapted from the critically-acclaimed play by tour-de-force author Tom Walmsley, BLOOD tells the story of reuniting siblings Noelle and Chris. Noelle, a sometimes prostitute aching for a fix after three months of parole-enforced abstinence, is desperate for cash. Noelle's money-making plan for turning a kinky threesome trick changes when her usual partners are busy and her long-lost brother Chris returns. What follows is a hypnotic dance of blurred moralities and incestuous explorations. For 90 real-time minutes the siblings push each other through often violent examinations of lusts and weaknesses spanning drugs, love, death and power. They trade control and fantasies in a debate between destroying and reconciling with the other. By experimenting with the many manifestations of love, the result is a blunt, passionate, and darkly comic look at two people struggling for salvation.

Jerry Ciccoritti, Director This is the story of how a nice, young, first generation Italian boy, who should have been a painter or at least gone into the retail business, grew up to be one of the country’s most vibrant directors.Jerry Ciccoritti is a native of Toronto, a city he loves.His plans to be a painter were swept aside when, in high school, he helped his best friend make a Super-8 short film. The first time he looked through the eyepiece and squeezed the trigger of the camera, the hair on the back of his neck stood up as he watched “a painting that moved.” The museums of the world would have to find something else to grace their walls. Jerry Ciccoritti was going to be a director.He spent his teen years making dozens of short films during the day and watching hundreds of movies by night at the city’s rep cinemas. He admits to having caught a few seminal television shows.After Ciccoritti enrolled in the York University film program, a sharp-eyed professor offered unusual advice: “You’ve already completed the work of the four year course. Get out of here! Go make movies!” But, his tuition had been paid and how could he explain quitting to his mother, so Ciccoritti stuck it out for a year. His professor proved to be right. Ciccoritti dropped out and spent two years at an audio-visual house learning his craft -- writing, producing, directing, shooting, editing dozens of films.But the road from schoolboy to celebrated director was rocky. When he was 23, Ciccoritti along with two partners, founded Lightshow. Over-confident and too eager, they jumped the gun and bankrupted the company trying to do the Hollywood studio rounds.With no money in their pockets and nothing left on the credit cards, the partners decided simply to make a film with the film stock cooling in the office fridge. Their first effort, the horror-comedy Psycho Girls, was written by Ciccoritti over a weekend. Friends were cast and, after one week’s prep, they shot the feature over a nine-day period for a total of $15,000. The result was sufficiently funny and gory to attract the interest of Canon Films which bought the film outright for $150,000. Ciccoritti and his partners cleaned up all their debts and produced a string of indie B-movies that Ciccoritti either directed, co-produced or wrote: Graveyard Shift, Skull: A Night of Terror, The Understudy: Graveyard Shift II, A Whisper to a Scream, Bedroom Eyes II: No Peeking.In the early 1990s, Ciccoritti began working extensively in television and contributed to such series as Due South, Forever Knight and La Femme Nikita. In 1993, Ciccoritti returned to feature films with Paris, France.Now considered one of the country’s most exciting directors, Ciccoritti’s work has drawn wide acclaim. His 1999 feature The Life Before This was selected for the Toronto and Berlin film festivals and earned Catherine O’Hara a Genie Award as Best Supporting Actress. Boy Meets Girl (1998), which also premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, was named Best Film at the Cologne Film Festival.Ciccoritti’s television work has also been widely praised. He received Gemini Awards for Best Direction for the television series CatWalk (1994) and Due South (1996), and for the CBC-TV movie Net Worth and the groundbreaking series Straight Up, both in 1997.His most recent Best Director Gemini was in 2001 for the CBC-TV movie Chasing Cain, which he also produced. When his name rang out in the Toronto hall, Ciccoritti was alone in his Halifax hotel room, going over the Trudeau script for the next day’s shoot.But, for all his accolades, Ciccoritti was deeply touched by the Trudeau project. “You must understand that I am the child of an immigrant family. When I called my mother from the House of Commons set to say ‘Ma, guess where I am and guess whose chair I'm sitting in’—it was the Speaker’s—she was bursting with pride but also was hoping that I wasn't being disrespectful. It was a wonderful first generation immigrant moment.“Working on Trudeau was inspiring and terrifying,” he says, “but on September 11, everything became simple and clear. Trudeau was a man of peace, a man who loathed nationalism. He had a vision of Canada as a gift to the rest of the world, a place where languages and cultures could co-exist in harmony and truly thrive. I now see the movie as a tribute, not only to the man, but, more than ever, to the spirit he tried to share with the world.”Recently Jerry completed The Many Trials of One Jane Doe in 2002 for CBC, The Death & Life of Nancy Eaton in 2003 for CTV, and is currently in post-production on Lives of the Saints for CTV starring Sophia Loren, Fabrizio Filippo, and also starring Jessica Pare.




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